Toddler Dies From Heat Exposure After Parents Lock Him In Room With Space Heater For 38 Hours, Parents Using Meth, Police Say

According to St. Charles, Missouri police, a two-year-old toddler, Braydon Barnes, was placed in a crib and locked in a room for over 38 hours while his parents smoked meth. The child was left in the room with a space heater turned on in the tiny room. The space heater did not have a temperature setting and was blasting heat into the room for the full 38 hours as the little boy’s parents never opened the door to check on the child. Meanwhile, the toddler was dying of hyperthermia, a condition in which the body’s temperature become extremely elevated. Police also discovered that the meth-smoking mother is pregnant with another child.

KFSM reports that a two-year-old little boy from St. Charles, Missouri, was found dead after his parents left him alone in a room for 38 hours with a space heater on. The child was left unattended while the parents admittedly smoked meth. The parents, Kathleen Peacock and Lucas Barnes, admit that they never checked on the child after placing him in the crib. Although they heard noises coming from the room and thought they probably should check on the child, they never did.

Police noted that the space heater placed in the room with the toddler did not have a thermostat and was not set to automatically shut off. Therefore, when Braydon was placed in the crib and locked in the room with the space heater, the heat would have poured out from the unit for the full 38 hours he was trapped in the enclosed space. As a result, the child’s body temperature would have slowly increased before he eventually succumbed to the extreme heat.

The police report indicated that the youngster’s parents said they placed the child in the room with the space heater on Friday and did not check on him again until Sunday morning. Upon entering the room on Sunday morning, the parents found Braydon dead. The attending paramedics noted that the child had been dead “for some time” before they arrived at the scene. It is unclear exactly when the child passed away, but the parents note they had no way to know because they never entered the room during the 38 hour time period.

“St. Charles Police said Tuesday that the child’s parents were cooking methamphetamine at the time of the child’s death. Authorities says the couple ignored the child’s cries while they were on a weekend drug binge at their home.”

In addition to the extreme neglect, it was noted by the authorities that the child was thin and malnourished. The toddler was also living in a home where the parents admit they had been manufacturing meth in the week prior to Braydon’s death. The parents also admitted to using meth during the time that the child was locked in the room with the space heater. According to Fox 2 Now, when the toddler’s mother Kathleen found the child was dead, she immediately ran to a neighbor’s house for help. The neighbor says she entered the home in a bid to see if she could help the toddler and noted that the room was “extremely hot.”

Both Kathleen Peacock and Lucas Barns have been arrested on charges of child abuse and neglect along with manufacturing meth. In a sad twist to the story, it was also revealed that Katheleen Peacock is currently pregnant despite her continued meth use.

Meanwhile, relatives of Braydon say they are deeply saddened by his passing and note that many of them have cut off contact with Braydon’s parents due to Kathleen’s drug use. The relatives are now speaking out and encouraging other families in a similar situation not to ignore the problem and to seek help. Neighbors also expressed their grief, while noting that Braydon was an innocent child lost to his parents drug problems.

[Image via St. Charles Police]