Coroner: 9-year-old died of cocaine overdose

Posted at 5:51 AM, May 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-16 05:51:27-04

YOUNGSTOWN, OH (WMFJ/CNN) – Officials in Ohio say they were shocked when they discovered cocaine in the body of a 9-year-old boy, and his death is now being treated as a possible homicide.

Marcus Lee Jr., 9, was rushed from his home to a hospital the day after Christmas. Police say it took five months to get the startling evidence they needed to move forward with the case.

The boy died from acute cocaine toxicity, according to the county coroner. The coroner says the boy’s test results were “off the charts.”

"It appears he ingested it orally. There was cocaine found in his stomach,” said Lt. Doug Bobovnyik with the Youngstown Police.

Marcus’ father says he never thought the story of his son’s death added up.

"I was angry. I was angry. It was told to me it was a seizure, a defect, something that was unstoppable,” Marcus Lee Sr. said.

The boy’s mother, her boyfriend and a family friend were interviewed about the 9-year-old’s death.

Officers say the child had been dead for hours before officials were called. There was no cocaine found in the home at the time they responded.

Detectives will consult with the prosecutor and most likely present the case to a grand jury in an effort to seek criminal charges.

Two other children have since been removed from the home by children’s services.

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