MOUNT HOLLY — As township father sits behind bars, his 2-year-old son is at the hospital fighting for his life after nearly dying from a drug overdose.

Ray Drayton, 36, and his 36-year-old girlfriend, Melissa R. Wilkerson, are facing criminal charges after Drayton's toddler accidentally ingested methamphetamine and fentanyl at their home.

Investigators said the drugs were on a cotton ball that had been used for intravenous drug use.

Police were called to the Madison Avenue home on Jan. 13 on a report of an unresponsive child, who they found was having difficulty breathing and was showing signs of a drug overdose.

The child was taken to Virtua Memorial Hospital in Mount Holly, where he was given the opioid overdose antidote Narcan.

The drugs, however, had caused the little boy's brain to swell. He was taken to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he underwent surgery to relieve the swelling. Prosecutors said Wednesday that the boy remains in critical condition.

A Superior Court judge on Wednesday released Wilkerson but ordered that Drayton be held without bail. They are both charged with second-degree aggravated assault, second-degree child endangerment and fourth-degree child cruelty and neglect.

New Jersey 101.5 did not know Wednesday whether either had an attorney who could speak on their behalf.

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Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email

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