Mom who was high in car as 2-year-old died also had a defaced gun, cops say
SALEM — A mother accused of being high in the car where her 2-year-old daughter died now faces faces additional charges.
Salem County Prosecutor John T. Lenahan told NJ.com the girl’s death remains under investigation after she was found dead in a white Mercedes parked in the driveway of Deanna J. Joseph’s Timberman Road home Sunday. The engine and heat were on when the girl was found in a car seat at 9:45 p.m., authorities have said.
The report quoted Lenahan saying the girl may have injured herself with a seat belt. Lenahan did not disclose additional information and has not yet not return phone messages from New Jersey 101.5 about the results of a medical examination.
Complaints cited by NJ.com in another report Thursday said the Salem County Prosecutor's Office has now also charged Joseph with having crack cocaine in her purse and a defaced Sterling Arms Mark II .380 caliber gun in the trunk of her car.
Joseph was already charged with second-degree child endangerment after the girl was found dead, according to the initial report.
Joseph had been arrested at least three times in the past for allegedly being under the influence as her children were unattended, and has faces several other drug charges over several years, according to several reports from the times of those incidents.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com