An Oklahoma City couple have been charged with second-degree murder in the death of a 6-year-old boy, who investigators say had fentanyl in his blood.
The charges, filed Thursday by Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor, are against Harold Belton, 47, and Grashaunda Brooks, 44.
Belton and Brooks, identified by officials as the boy's parents, were arrested Thursday and booked into the Oklahoma County jail, where they were being held in lieu of bail, records show.
Belton told an investigator on Oct. 4, 2021, that he awoke between 2 and 3 a.m. to find that the boy, who had been sleeping on his chest, had mucus coming out of his nose and mouth and was unresponsive.
Doctors who saw the boy at 5:45 a.m. told police they believed the boy died an hour or more before Belton brought him to a west Oklahoma City hospital.
According to police, Belton told investigators the boy complained he wasn't feeling well and his stomach hurt the previous evening after Belton said he had taken him and three other children to swim at a local YMCA and then to Lake Overholser.
Belton also told investigators he talked with Brooks by phone while at the emergency room that morning, and that Brooks told him the boy and one of his siblings had been eating "stuff" off the ground while at the lake.
But when police couldn't reach Brooks and went to the couple's home, they say the woman refused to answer the door.
Once officers obtained a search warrant, police say investigators found three blue tablets inside a pill bottle labeled for Brooks hidden inside of a barbecue grill. A test by the department's lab determined the pills contained fentanyl, police also say.
According to investigators, the tablets were counterfeited to mimic pharmaceutical oxycodone 30mg tablets, a release issued Thursday by O'Connor's office stated.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents assisted the Oklahoma City Police Department's investigation.
Federal agents determined Brooks had been prescribed oxycodone tablets but did not have a prescription for fentanyl, O'Connor's release reports.
An autopsy of the boy by the state medical examiner determined the boy's probable cause of death as "Toxic Effects of Fentanyl."
The couple will face trials on their charges in Oklahoma County District Court.
"I am very saddened by the tragic death of this 6-year-old boy," O'Connor said. "Fentanyl can be a deadly poison. Illegal fentanyl is affecting not only addicts, but the young and innocent, as well. Simply put, these counterfeit pills kill people and destroy families.
"We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect all Oklahomans and prosecute those who violate the law."
This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Oklahoma City parents face second-degree murder charges in boy's death