× Toronto parents charged after toddler dies from ingesting illicit drugs last year
(CNN) — Two Toronto parents have been charged after a 2-year-old died from ingesting drugs after what police say was a family party in the southwest Ontario community of Brampton last year.
Hezekiah Murphy-Tuttle, the toddler, was not breathing when he was brought to the Sunnybrook Hospital emergency room from the home on October 4. He was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.
Police believe that Hezekiah ingested marijuana laced with a sedative called tramadol while with other family members in a downstairs room.
Police said Wednesday that Christopher Thomas Tuttle, 29, is facing a charge of criminal negligence causing death, while his wife, Sari Ilona Tuttle, 25, is facing a charge of criminal negligence causing death.
Both the father and mother appeared in court in Brampton on Wednesday. They were released on a promise to appear on a later date. Their case was adjourned until July 14.
The Tuttle family was held in debt, and an outstanding court order of almost $300,000 was about to expire when they decided to throw a party at the house, a friend, who asked to be identified only as Aaron, told CNN affiliate CTV Toronto.
Aaron said his children who were at the party thought the Titles were “family.”
“But that just led to more trouble,” he said. “What started out as a wonderful, loving party turned into a tragedy for everyone who was involved.”
Delays in medical care and emergency response time, coupled with a failure to notify first responders, likely led to the toddler’s death, a police inspector told CTV Toronto.
The police forensic services unit continues to investigate the death.