Pennsylvania couple dies of likely heroin overdoses, baby dies of starvation days later

A couple was discovered dead in their home in Johnstown, Pa., Dec. 22, following likely heroin overdoses. Also discovered was the body of the couple's deceased 5-month old daughter. The child died from starvation and dehydration, according to The Tribune-Democrat.

Officials suspect Jason Chambers, 27, and Chelsea Cardaro, 19, had been dead for about a week when they were discovered. The infant had survived for several days after the likely overdoses.

While the toxicology reports on the couple could take up to six to eight weeks, there was evidence of drug abuse on the scene. According to The Tribune-Democrat, authorities were called to the home after Mr. Chambers overdosed in November. Mr. Chambers was subsequently revived with Narcan. A report was then made with Children and Youth Services.

According to The Tribune-Democrat, during a press conference on Dec. 23 at Johnstown's Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, District Attorney Kelly Callihan said, "They [Children and Youth Services] did meet with the mother and the father with the child present at the residence. They checked out the house, and it was appropriate to a child living there. There was plenty of food and the child seemed well taken care of."

At the press conference, Johnstown police Capt. Chad Miller said, "It's an unfortunate incident where they both possibly overdosed at the same time — and being from out of town, not having anybody in town — it was too long for anybody to notice that they were missing."

Ms. Callihan added that she believes the couple died within minutes of one another because if they hadn't, the other would have likely called for help.

In 2015, heroin overdose deaths surpassed gun homicides as the more prolific killer for the first time, killing nearly 13,000 people.

More articles on the opioid epidemic: 
Big pharma hired dozens of ex-DEA agents over past 10 years 
Drugmakers push new 'abuse-deterrent' opioids — unclear if they will reduce overdoses 
CDC director says 'urgent action is needed' : 13 data points on the opioid epidemic

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