Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Mount Holly Township Police Department - NJ Chief Richard Spitler announced that a Mount Holly man and his girlfriend were charged after the man’s 2-year-old son ingested fentanyl and methamphetamine, which caused his brain to swell and prompted the use of Narcan to save his life.
Officials say Mr. Ray Drayton, 36, and Ms. Melissa R. Wilkerson, 36, of the first block of Madison Avenue, were charged with Aggravated Assault (Second Degree), Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Second Degree), and Cruelty and Neglect of Children (Fourth Degree).
The case will now be prepared for presentation to a Burlington County Grand Jury for possible indictment. During a detention hearing today, a Superior Court judge detained Drayton and released Wilkerson.
The investigation began January 13 after Mount Holly police officers were called to the residence for a report of an unresponsive 2-year-old boy.
The toddler was breathing in a shallow manner and exhibiting symptoms of a drug overdose. He was transported a Virtua Memorial Hospital in Mount Holly, where his breathing improved after Narcan was administered.
Further examination revealed that his brain had begun to swell, and he was transported to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Surgery was performed the following day in an attempt to relieve the swelling. Testing revealed he had ingested fentanyl and methamphetamine.
It is believed the boy came into contact with the drugs from a cotton ball that was contaminated during intravenous drug use at the residence. He remains at CHOP in critical condition.
Drayton and Wilkerson will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Eife, supervisor of the BCPO Major Crimes Unit – Special Victims Section. The investigation was conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Mount Holly Township Police department. The lead investigator is BCPO Detective Erica Ridge.
All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.