YPD: Amount of cocaine in 9-year-old was 'off the chart' - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

YPD: Amount of cocaine in 9-year-old was 'off the chart'

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Youngstown police detectives say they are treating the investigation into the cocaine overdose of a nine-year-old boy as a possible homicide.

According to the Mahoning County Coroner's Office, the fourth grader at McGuffey Elementary died of acute cocaine toxicity.

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

Nine-year-old Marcus Lee, Jr. died the day after Christmas.  But Youngstown police say it took five months to get the startling evidence they needed to move forward with the case.

The boy died at Akron Children's Hospital in Boardman after being rushed by ambulance from his mother's home on Midland on December 26, 2016.

Lieutenant Doug Bobovnyik tells 21 News, "He (Marcus Lee) died from acute cocaine toxicity, and the test results were 'off the charts' according to the Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office."

The boy's father and stepmother say they always felt the story of what happened didn't add up.

Marcus Lee, Sr. of Youngstown, said, "I was angry.  I was angry.  It was told to me it was a seizure or a defect, something that was unstoppable. Nobody was told the truth.  I wasn't told the truth."

Lakeshia Lee, the boy's stepmother, said, "I'm not here to judge anybody because I'm not perfect.  But I know that baby didn't deserve that and I know that baby shouldn't be there.  And we're not going to be quiet about it.  I know that much."

Youngstown police had to wait five months for the official toxicology results to come back, even though a preliminary test did show that the child had amphetamines or some type of stimulant in his system.

"It appears he ingested it orally.  There was cocaine found in his stomach," Lieutenant Bobovnyik said.

Detectives have interviewed the mother, her boyfriend, and a family friend.  

Officers say they weren't contacted until hours after the child died.  At that time no cocaine was found in the Midland home.

But the boy's father wants answers and is demanding justice for his son. "I want everybody to suffer that had something to do with it," he said.

21 News did reach out to the mother for a comment but she was unavailable.  

Youngstown police say now that the mother has hired an attorney and they haven't been able to speak with her any further.

Two other children have been removed from the Midland home by Mahoning County Children's Services.

Stay with 21 News for more developments in this story.

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