9-year-old boy’s cocaine levels ‘off the charts’ when he died, police say

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The death of a 9-year-old Youngstown boy on the day after Christmas is being treated as a homicide now that autopsy results show the level of cocaine in his system was “off the charts.”

Marcus Lee died December 26 after he was rushed from a house on Midland Avenue to Akron Children’s Hospital in Boardman. A police report said he was having seizures and couldn’t breathe on his own.

The child died at the hospital.


Police treated Lee’s death as suspicious and two weeks ago, investigators got a final toxicology report from the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office. It said drugs were in the boy’s system when he died.

“That revealed that he had died from acute cocaine toxicity and the test results were off the charts, according to the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office,” said Youngstown Police Lt. Doug Bobovnyik.

He said police are investigating the case as a homicide and plan to present it to a grand jury.

“The coroner has ruled the case a homicide because of the toxicology report, so it is a very big piece of information and evidence from the coroner’s office.”

Bobovnyik said there was no cocaine found in the boy’s home.

The child’s mother, her boyfriend, and another friend have already been interviewed about Lee’s death.

The mother recently hired an attorney.

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