Toddler Dies of Extreme Heat After 38 Hours Alone in a Room with a Space Heater, Say Police

Braydon Barnes's parents have been charged with felonies in the Missouri child's death

Photo: St. Charles Police

The parents of a 2-year-old Missouri boy have been charged with felonies after he died from hyperthermia – his body temperature greatly above normal – from allegedly being left alone in a room with a space heater for almost two days, police confirm to PEOPLE.

Lucas Barnes and Kathleen Peacock both face felony charges of abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death, as well as manufacturing a controlled substance in a home with a child, police in St. Charles, Missouri, tell PEOPLE.

Barnes and Peacock, both in their 20s, were allegedly using their trailer to manufacture methamphetamine. They allegedly left their son, Braydon Barnes, unattended for 38 hours in a room with a space heater that lacked a thermostat to turn it off, police said.

St. Charles County prosecutor Tim Lohmar said Peacock and Barnes were using drugs at the time, which is why they didn’t attend to the child, and that Braydon was malnourished, dehydrated and very thin, KMOX-TV reports.

An autopsy revealed he had allegedly not eaten for at least two days.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

“This is a sad example of people who are incapable of being a parent to a child,” Lohmar said. “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.”

Peacock – who is currently pregnant, and who faces earlier child endangerment charges for allegedly driving under the influence with a child in the car – allegedly told investigators she considered checking on Braydon after hearing noises coming from the room but neglected to do so.

Related Articles