Toddler who died after ingesting cocaine was severely burned, NJ cops say
CHERRY HILL — The man charged with the death of a toddler found with fentanyl and cocaine in her system had burn marks on her body when police arrived.
Walter Clark, 27, of Cherry Hill was charged in connection with the July 23 death of the 2-year-old after the illegal substances were found in her system, according to Camden County Prosecutor Grace MacAulay. Drug paraphernalia was also found in the home near where the child was found, according to MacAulay.
The complaint and affidavit in Clark's arrest show that arriving officers found severe burn marks on the girl's face and chest area. A witness told police that the burns and peeling skin was noticed after Clark bathed the child. Clark later denied that the water burned the child.
The witness also told police that while the child was alone with Clark, she sucked on his vape pen. Clark told police that he had used the pen several days earlier after using heroin, according to a summary report. After the child handled the pen, she started vomiting and became unconscious and unresponsive, the police report noted.
The witness said Clark spent "an extended period of time” trying to find Narcan (Naloxone). Clark also told the witness not to call 911. A second witness said Clark contacted them looking for Narcan, which the witness brought to the house.
Officers said that when they arrived, the girl had a "discharge" coming from her nose and mouth area, according to the complaint. Numerous used wax heroin folds and small Ziploc bags containing cocaine were found near the child and in the home.
Complaint: Clark tried to treat the girl before calling police
Clark was charged with endangering the welfare of a child by "allowing the child access to controlled dangerous substances and delaying medical care by seeking Narcan (Naloxone) for a child who was later pronounced deceased."
Clark was also charged with first-degree aggravated manslaughter, second degree aggravated assault. He is being held at the Camden County Jail.
The documents do not disclose the relationship between Clark, the witnesses and the girl who was identified only by her initials.
Cherry Hill Police Chief Robert Kempf told NJPen.com that Clark and his girlfriend were babysitting the child for a friend.