COCOA, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - The Brevard County Sheriff's Office says that 29-year-old David Williams Chappele Jr. and 27-year-old Jessica Marie Strickland have been arrested for Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child and transported to the Brevard County Jail Complex.
They say that the investigation was initiated on September 6th, 2017, after deputies responded to a residence on Walnut Street in Cocoa in reference to an unresponsive 8-month-old infant. The infant was transported and pronounced deceased at the hospital later that night.
The sheriff's office says that an autopsy, conducted by the Brevard County Medical Examiner, determined that the death was caused by an overdose of fentanyl and cocaine.
The investigation is said to have revealed that on the night of the incident, Strickland and Chappele placed a mattress on the floor of the living room to co-sleep with the infant in the middle of the bed. Strickland awoke, finding the infant unresponsive and called emergency 911.
Deputies say that Chappele was allegedly wearing multiple fentanyl patches, which had been cut in half, where a lethal amount of fentanyl residue was then transferred to the infant. It is also alleged that the infant ingested cocaine as Strickland was using the drug while caring for the infant
Chappele's charges are reportedly related to allowing the infant to be in direct proximity of a dangerous narcotic that caused the infant's death. Strickland is being charged for failing to protect the infant even though she knew the possible danger to the child from the drugs that were being used by both parents.
The Brevard County Sheriff's Office asks that anyone with any further in reference to this investigation is asked to please call Agent Wendy Wheeler at 321-633-8413.