EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (KMOV) – An Edwardsville couple have been ordered to spend two years on probation following the May 2012 drowning death of their 2-year-old son.
Twenty-six-year-old Emilie Pinski and 27-year-old Thomas Pinski pleaded guilty Wednesday in Madison County to a misdemeanor child-endangerment count. Emilie Pinski also pleaded guilty to a felony count of child abandonment.
Police said the couple’s son, Lukas Pinski, wandered away from their Edwardsville home with his twin brother on May 2, 2012.
Deputies said the toddler’s grandmother called authorities around 3 p.m. that day. Before they arrived, a relative found Lukas submerged in a small lake near their home on Cherokee Trail in Edwardsville. His twin brother was found wandering nearby with a few minor cuts on his body.
Lukas was taken to St. Louis Children’s Hospital, where he died on May three days later.
According to police, the parents were charged after authorities said the child was knowingly left unsupervised. They said Lukas was able to climb out of the house through a basement window into an unfenced yard.
Police said the boys had previously escaped the house through the same window multiple times, but Emilie and Thomas did not lock the window or remove a bench in front of the window that allowed them to reach it.
Authorities also charged the toddler’s grandmothers, Shirley Pinski, 47, and Rebecca Kennedy, 61, with misdemeanor endangering the life or health of a child. Both of them live at the home.
According to police, the adults were all charged with misdemeanors because they allowed five children to live in the home with unbearable conditions, including piles of human and animal feces, broken glass and debris.
Since the investigation, the other children in the home, two boys ages 2 and 5 and two girls ages 3 and 1, have been in the temporary custody of state family services.
“This family knew the boys were crawling out of the window and wandering away, yet they did nothing, and that’s against the law,” said state’s attorney Thomas Gibbons. “They lived in filth and squalor.”