9-year-old Ohio boy’s cocaine death investigated as homicide

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Police are investigating the death of a 9-year-old Ohio boy as a possible homicide after tests showed the cause was acute cocaine toxicity.

Marcus Lee Jr. died on Dec. 26 after being rushed to a hospital by ambulance from his mother's home in Youngstown.

Police Lt. Doug Bobovnyik says the boy apparently ingested cocaine, which was found in his stomach. No cocaine was found at the home when police were contacted after the child died.

Marcus' father and stepmother told WFMJ-TV that they initially were told his death was likely due to a seizure or other defect.

But the Mahoning County Coroner's Office said on Monday that the boy died from "acute cocaine toxicity." The coroner said test results were "off the charts,” WFMJ-TV reports.

The station reports that Marcus' mother now has an attorney and police haven't spoken more with her.

Prosecutors will decide whether a grand jury should consider possible criminal charges over the boy's death.

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