2 adults charged after 13-year-old dies of overdose at Washington, Mo. home

Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 5:42 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON, Mo. (KMOV) – Charges were filed against two adults after a 13-year-old boy died of an overdose death while at a sleepover in Washington, Missouri.

According to police, Zackary Foster, 13, was sleeping over his 12-year-old friend’s house in the 600 block of West 7th Street in August 2021. A detective told News 4 he believes the boys were experimenting with the parent’s drugs during the night. Specifically, police said they found Methamphetamine and other prescription drugs in the home.

Foster was found dead in an upstairs bedroom on August 29, 2021. At the time, police confirmed the death was being investigated as a drug overdose death.

The children who lived at the 7th Street home, a 7-year-old girl and the 12-year-old boy, were put in state custody. The 46-year-old mother, father and live-in male tenant were all arrested on different drug charges, including possession and paraphernalia. Police said they found Methamphetamine in the home.

On March 15, 2022 charges were announced against Thomas R. Noonan and Andrew W. Amelung. They were each charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child-1st Degree-Death of a Child of Zackary Foster and Endangering the Welfare of a Child-1st Degree-Serious Physical Injury to another child in the home. Their bond was set at $250,000. Noonan was reportedly the homeowner where the sleepover was held and Amelung was a friend living at the home at the time.

“Last night about 10:30 p.m., they were out here throwing a football right here in the field. Never thought nothing about it, went to bed, and eight hours later, everything’s crazy,” Scott Brueschke said the day after Foster was found dead.

Brueschke lives on 7th Street. He said that was the last time he had seen the Washington Middle School seventh grader.

“I was up for approximately a half hour and the next thing you know, I’m hearing sirens and they’re getting louder, louder and louder then they quit. I thought ‘what’s going on?’ I looked out the front door and they started pulling in right here at the neighbor’s house, ambulances, everything, everyone’s running back and forth,” Brueschke explained.

Detectives said it was typical for him to be over at that house for a sleepover.

“I know her [deceased teen’s mother] son had spent the night there several nights in the past. I don’t know how much she knows about the family itself,” Washington, Mo. Detective Sergeant Steve Sitzes said.

Sitzes stated the deceased teen’s mother did virtually everything she could have as a parent to keep her child safe. He described the incident as a “true tragedy.”

“She had on her son’s phone an app that she would set up geofences of where he was at, and it would send her alerts that he was outside the geofence. She had that she knew where he was at in the home, and knew what time he had gotten there, and that he hadn’t left, but tragedy still struck,” Sitzes explained.

“For the family, the boy that lost his life, they’re gonna have a hard road to tow and if there was wrongdoing done, then hopefully they get prosecuted properly for what they’ve done,” Brueschke said.

Washington, Mo. police are urging parents to be aware and involved in their children’s lives. They recommend getting to know your child’s friend’s parents before allowing a sleepover.

Washington Middle School released the following statement about the 13-year-old’s death:

We are saddened to learn of the passing of a student from Washington Middle School. As a middle school staff and district family, we send our condolences to the family and will respect their privacy as they grieve their loss. The family deserves nothing less. Please know that we will have additional counselors on hand at the middle school to support students and staff who are struggling. The school administration and counseling staff will be working to provide the most appropriate support to the family, student body, and the entire staff. Please direct any investigation questions to the Washington Police Department. We send our deepest sympathy to the family and ask to please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.