Ocean County officials announced that on August 26, David Belk, 45, and Stephanie O’Neill, 44, both of Little Egg Harbor, were charged with Strict Liability Drug-Induced Death, relative to the death of a sixteen-year-old male in Little Egg Harbor on July 3.
County officials said that Belk and O’Neill were also charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute and Possession of Heroin.
According to county officials, on July 3, Officers from the Little Egg Harbor Police Department were summoned to a residence on East Susquehanna Drive for a report of an unresponsive sixteen-year-old male lying on the floor.
County officials said that responding Officers immediately administered lifesaving techniques; the young man was transported to Hackensack Meridian Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, where he was subsequently pronounced deceased.
An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department Detective Bureau determined that Belk and O’Neill had sold Heroin and Fentanyl to the victim.
Further investigation and toxicology analysis recently received by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed the presence of Heroin and Fentanyl in the victim’s system.
County officials said that based upon the toxicology analysis, the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office opined that the Heroin and Fentanyl found in the victim’s system was the cause of his death.
According to officials, as a consequence, Belk and O’Neill were charged with Strict Liability Drug Induced Death.
Officials said that O’Neill was taken into custody and is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.
A warrant has been issued for Belk’s arrest, and his name has been placed in the National Crime Information Center database.
Anyone with information concerning Belk’s whereabouts – or any information at all regarding this investigation - is urged to contact Detective Brant Uricks of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929- 2027 or Detective Christopher Arciniegas of the Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department at 609-296-3666.