Mother charged months after local toddler dies from morphine overdose

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by Brendan Marks / KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on May 21, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 21 at 5:58 PM

(KMOV) – A Jefferson County woman faces charges for the death of her 21-month-old son who died of a morphine overdose in October.

Lacey Kertz, 26, was located at a house in Barnhart Wednesday and arrested without incident. She was charged with abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death and remains in custody at the Jefferson County Jail without bond.

The charges come months after Carson Swyres was found unresponsive in Kertz’s House Spring home in the 5700 block of House Springs. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

An autopsy later determined Carson died of morphine intoxication. Meth, opiates and other drugs were also found in the boy’s system.

Related: Local toddler died from morphine overdose; meth, other drugs in system

In the medical examiner’s report, Kertz admitted to getting high before breast feeding the toddler, even telling investigators she gave him drugs to get him to sleep.

Judy Stadler, who helped care for the child, told News 4 in Feb. she had previously caught Kertz stealing heavy-duty meds from a locked box.

“She was taking anything she could get her hands on, codeine, morphine,” Stadler said at the time.

Sheryl Stadler-Sullivan, another former caretaker of Carson, also told News 4 state investigators had been called at least 10 times in regards to the child’s safety.

Carson’s biological father, registered child sex offender Neil Swyres, has also been arrested in the past for having unsupervised visits with the boy. 

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