Almost every parent has experienced that heart-stopping moment when they look around and notice they no longer see their child. Just leaving a child out of sight for mere moments can sometimes result in tragic consequences. For one couple, it also resulted in a felony charge. Investigators accuse an Edwardsville couple of intentionally leaving their child unsupervised. He was later found floating in a small lake on Cherokee Trail.
The accident occurred on May 2. A 911 call was made by the boy’s grandmother, and police responded to the scene. The young boy and his twin brother had allegedly left their home the afternoon of the accident. One of the boys was later found nearly drowned in the lake and his brother was nearby, suffering only from some small cuts. The severely injured boy was hospitalized and died there on May 6.
The boy’s parents have now been charged with a single count of Endangering the Life or Health of a Child. Now that the child has died, the charge is a Class 3 felony. A police investigation allegedly found the children were able to leave the house by climbing out a basement window and into a yard that was unfenced. Police claim the boys had escaped the home multiple times before, and also assert the parents failed to ensure safety guards preventing the boys from doing so again.
Not only is this a tragedy for the family, but now the parents are facing a felony charge. While the criminal proceedings make their way through the Illinois court system, the parents undoubtedly are devastated by their loss. Now, in addition to grieving the loss of their son, they also must answer to the criminal accusations lodged against them, likely at a time when they feel isolated and confused.
Some parents may commiserate with the plight of this Edwardsville couple and can understand the tragedy may have been an oversight that resulted in unimaginable consequences. Nevertheless, each must necessarily focus on the specifics of the accusations as they fight to clear their names under the most arduous of circumstances.
Source: The Edwardsville Intelligencer, “Charges filed in Edwardsville drowning death,” July 9, 2012