A 5-month-old from Pennsylvania was left to fend for herself after her young parents overdosed on heroin inside of their home.
The bodies of Summer Chambers, 27-year-old Jason Chambers, and his girlfriend, Chelsea Cardaro, 19, were discovered inside their Kernville residence by a family friend on Thursday, December 22, NBC 6 reports. Autopsies performed on the couple by Cambria County coroner Jeff Lee deduced that the parents had been dead for about a week at the time of the gruesome finding. Summer, meanwhile, was said to have passed away “four or five days” after the elder Chambers and Cardaro.
The friend who made the shocking find, James Grant, relayed his disbelief to NBC 6 and shared just how heartbroken he was over the loss.
“It was hard going in there and being the one to see them like that, [and] it still kind of doesn’t seem real,” he expressed.
“Me, my fiancee and my daughter; they took us in, [helped us to] be successful here.”
Neighbors of the family purportedly assumed that the couple were away for the holidays due to not seeing Summer, Jason, or Chelsea since around December 13. Additionally, plans to see family in New York, where Chambers and Cardaro originally resided, were specified to several others in their circle of friends. On December 14, Cardaro updated her Facebook status with a picture of herself and Chambers, captioning it, “the love of my life.”
After hearing through his fiancee that others were worried about not seeing the family for nine days, Grant made the trek to their Thomas Avenue home and climbed inside an open kitchen window to investigate. There, he found Chambers lying unresponsive in the living room, and Cardaro in a second-floor bathroom. Little Summer was located in a bassinet in a bedroom, also on the upper level.
A press conference held Friday by District Attorney Kelly Callihan unveiled that both Chambers and Cardaro had past experiences and confrontations with law enforcement over their drug use. Just last month, emergency officials were called to the home when Chambers once again overdosed on heroin. She was able to be resuscitated with Narcan, but was reported, along with Chambers, to the state’s Children and Youth Services.
“They did meet with the mother and the father with the child present at the residence,” Callahan explained to reporters.
“They checked out the house, and it was appropriate [enough] to [let] a child [continue] living there. There was plenty of food and the child seemed well taken care of.”
Although toxicology results for Chambers and Cardaro won’t be available for six to eight weeks, drug paraphernalia found in the house loan credence to talk of an overdose. Also, bags of heroin were said to have been located inside of the residence.
“It really illustrates the ongoing issues that we’re having with [drug] overdoses,” Callahan added.
Over the past few months, a number of stories involving parents overdosing on heroin while their children are nearby have hit the headlines.
As noted by the Inquisitr in September, members of the East Liverpool Police Dept. posted images of a drug-addicted couple passed out in the front of their car to their Facebook page. In the back seat, a young boy, the couple’s son, was seen crying, desperately trying to get their attention. Law officials for the Ohio-based squad explained that by sharing the pictures, they hoped that other users would “see the other side of this horrible drug.” The child has since been placed with relatives.
One of the officers investigating the Chambers and Cardaro matter, Johnstown Police Capt. Chad Miller, believes that having relatives nearby might have helped to save Summer Chambers’ life.
“It’s an unfortunate incident where they both possibly overdosed at the same time,” he remarked to the Tribune-Democrat, “and [due to them] not having anybody [close] in town, it was just too long for anybody to notice that they were missing.”
[Featured Image by cassinga/iStock]