Note: we are republishing this story in light of recent reports that show child abuse has significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. More on this here: https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2021-10-08/study-confirms-rise-in-child-abuse-during-covid-pandemic
A couple from St. Charles, Missouri, was arrested and charged after their child was killed in a meth lab when the room overheated.
Kathleen Peacock and Lucas Barnes were both arrested and charged with abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death in addition to drug-related charges. Peacock, who was pregnant at the time of the toddler’s death, previously faced charges of child endangerment after she drove under the influence of drugs while the child was with her.
Braydon Barnes, 2, reportedly died after being left unattended in a room inside a trailer, which had a space heater with no thermostat, for 38 hours. When authorities arrived at the scene, the child had already been dead for some time, the probable cause statement revealed. The boy had allegedly not eaten in two days.
Peacock admitted to police that she heard noises coming from the trailer but did not check on the child. Both parents were using drugs at the time and were using the trailer to cook meth.
“This is a sad example of people who are incapable of being a parent to a child,” St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar told KMOX. “The sad part is that the community has resources for people like this. We’ve got the crisis nursery, we’ve got other resources available for people who are overwhelmed, who are incapable of providing for their child. Sadly, it takes cases like this, perhaps, to remind people that those resources are out there waiting to be used.”
Lohmar added: “I’d love to tell you this is the worst case we’ve ever seen, but it’s not. We see things like this with some degree of regularity, unfortunately, and it typically follows a similar pattern, so this is as sad as any of those.”
Many readers called for the couple to be punished severely for their neglect and mistreatment of their child.
"Monsters , what a horrible way to die," one reader commented on the site’s Facebook page. "I can't even imagine what that little boy was thinking and the pain he experienced. He is with Jesus now, Thank You God.”
“That's a horrible story, but becoming more common as time goes by," another wrote. "Lock them up for life without their drugs so they will remember clearly what they did.”
“These people should not be allowed to breath any longer," commented a third person. "These and countless other's,that do such horrible things to a child. That poor little boy,didn't stand a chance..God Bless this child.”