Two Ohio parents have been arrested after their 8-year-old son allegedly suffered from a heroin overdose in January. Police say that they arrived at the couple’s Berea home on January 11 after receiving a report of an unresponsive child. The child in question was the 8-year-old son of Charles Dowdy and Danielle Simko, and responding officers say that when they arrived on scene, they found the boy not breathing, his desperate father reportedly performing CPR.
As The Washington Post reports, first responders immediately suspected that illicit drugs may have had something to do with the child’s condition. Officers claim that when they arrived at the suburban Ohio home, they found both drugs and paraphernalia at the scene. In assessing the child’s condition, a heroin overdose was considered a possible cause of the Ohio 8-year-old’s medical emergency.
Despite the child’s dire condition, responding officers were able to locate a pulse and transport him to a local hospital for medical treatment. While officers suspected early on that heroin or other drugs may have played a role boy’s condition due to the alleged state of the family home, the boy’s father told a different story of how the 8-year-old Ohio boy became unresponsive.
According to Charles Dowdy, the little boy had been laying in bed with his parents, both 31-years-old, when Dowdy realized that his son’s lips were blue. In a 911 call, Dowdy can be heard offering up an explanation for the condition of his 8-year-old; not once did he mention that there was heroin in the home or a possibility of an overdose.
“I think he was sleeping and I think what happened was he rolled over and I don’t think he could breathe, I think he was just, like, in the pillow and he suffocated.”
The boy’s father admitted that his son could have been without oxygen for as long as five minutes.
It was during that 911 call that Charles Dowdy was instructed on how to perform potentially life-saving CPR on his son. Also during his conversation with the 911 dispatcher, the Ohio father is heard talking to Danielle Simko, reportedly mother to the 8-year-old overdose victim.
When the Ohio 8-year-old arrived at the hospital, it was determined that he had been the victim of a heroin overdose. Disturbingly, over the course of evaluating the child, medical personnel discovered drugs hidden on the boy’s person. According to investigators and Cleveland, the 8-year-old heroin overdose victim was found to have both a bag of heroin and unnamed prescription drugs in his sock.
While the 8-year-old was being treated for his drug-related close call, police continued to interrogate his parents about how he’d come to be unconscious and unresponsive in the first place. Eventually, police allege that Dowdy came clean about drug use inside the family home, even admitting that he had used illegal substances at the residence not long before his son’s overdose.
After his father’s alleged confession, both parents of the lucky-to-be-alive Ohio boy were arrested in connection with his heroin overdose. The details of their arrest and the law enforcement investigation can be seen in the case’s police report.
At the time of their arrest, the Ohio parents were charged with child endangerment. Last week, a Grand Jury handed down felony indictments for child endangerment and drug possession. The couple has remained incarcerated since their January 11 arrest and are currently being held on separate $150,000 bonds.
The child, who has not been named in order to protect his privacy, recovered from his January overdose, but his current condition and custody situation are unknown at this time. When the crime was first reported on in January, it was erroneously reported that he only was 7-years old. However after reviewing the Ohio heroin overdose victim’s birth certificate, authorities determined that he is, in fact, an 8-year-old.
[Featured Image by Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department]