(video post) The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled that Patrick Nicholas Lerch, a 17-month-old baby from Akron, died as a result of being poisoned by meth lab chemicals. The Medical Examiner also noted that the baby’s body showed signs of both neglect and abuse.
February 13, 2012
On February 13, 2012, Kimberly Clark, who is married to a man that is related to Heather Lerch, says she contacted the Department of Children’s Services, to inform them that Lerch was moving in to a drug house with her son, 17-month-old Patrick Lerch. According to a woman, who knew Lerch during the time she lived at Harvest House – a homeless shelter for parents and children – complaints that Lerch had acted abusively towards the baby while at the shelter, had also been reported to the agency. The agency says they investigated Clark’s February 13th complaint, but could find no reason to remove the baby from his mother’s care.
February 26, 2012
Shortly before 11 a.m. on February 26, 2012, a man living inside the Patrick Lerch’s former home made a call to 911. The dispatcher heard a woman crying in the background. The man told the dispatcher, “A little baby boy is not breathing. He stopped breathing. He went to sleep, and now we can’t get him to wake up. He won’t breathe or nothing”. Five minutes later, police and paramedics arrived at the house on Saint Leger Avenue, and found the body of Patrick Lerch lying in his crib. At 11:17 p.m., Akron Children’s Hospital officially pronounced that the toddler was dead.
The baby’s mother, Heather Lerch, 20, and Ronald Legg, 22, were charged with murder and felony child endangerment. Ronald Legg received additional charges for violating the terms of his probation for theft and receiving stolen property. His police record includes 10 arrests.
Two other men, Randy Legg, 19, who is Heather Lerch’s boyfriend and the brother of Ronald Legg, and Allen Ray Kostra, 24, were also charged with manslaughter. Kostra has also been charged with a contempt of court in a theft case. His police record includes 6 prior arrests by Akron police.
Meth lab discovery
According to a report by the Akron police, “Responding officers recovered an active meth lab in the basement of the house on St. Leger Avenue. Patrick Lerch died of Methamphetamine Intoxication due to the inhalation of chemicals during his abuse and neglect.”
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Achladis, Ted. “Akron Mom Charged in Meth Intoxication Death Of A Child.” FOX8.com Cleveland News & Weather from WJW Television FOX 8. 23 Mar. 2012. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <http://fox8.com/2012/03/23/akron-mother-charged-in-death-of-child/>.
Meyer, Ed. “Authorities Calling Death of 17-month-old Toddler ‘suspected Homicide’” Ohio.com. Akron Beacon Journal Online, 28 Feb. 2012. Web. 28 Mar. 2012.
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