Husband and wife charged after 13-month-old son ingests fentanyl

ST. CHARLES, Mo. — A St. Charles County toddler was taken to the hospital after authorities with the St. Charles County Drug Task Force said he overdosed on fentanyl.

His parents, Joseph and Johanna Caravelli are being charged with child endangerment. According to the county prosecutor’s office, on Saturday the couple drove a friend to St. Louis who wanted to buy fentanyl for another friend. The couple took their 13-month old child along for the trip. In exchange, the couple was promised six capsules of fentanyl and $5 for fuel.

The couple returned to their home on Mulberry Lane, each of them used three fentanyl capsules. Detectives said Joseph told them that Johanna was injecting in the master bedroom, while he was doing the same in the kitchen with the young boy playing nearby. He told authorities that he put the syringe away, cleaned off the spoon and threw away the used capsules before playfully wrestling with his son. Joseph went on to tell authorities that moments later he noticed his son was “not doing well.” He then noticed a half of a capsule and realized that the toddler had ingested the other half with residue.

The couple did not call 911, but took the child to the hospital in their own car.

The couple also has a 15-year-old son. It wasn’t clear if the teen was present at the time.

Joseph’s brother-in-law Henry Kuethe and his wife who live in St. Ann told Fox 2 that they are praying and hoping their young nephew pulls through.

“We are helpless and that hurts,” said Kuethe, “I mean we would do anything for these children. It’s horrible, that’s all I can say, it’s horrible.”

Some neighbors said that they are heartbroken knowing that a child they would often see play outside in the front yard was exposed to something that could be deadly.

“Anytime there’s kids involved and there are drugs involved you’re never in the right mind,” said Matt Parker. “Things like heroin, there’s an epidemic going through this country, and it’s awful to see — and you have a child that young? A child doesn’t know what they are getting into.”

Both husband and wife are each being held on $30,000 cash only bond.