The Pacific Tribune

Infant Starved After Parents Died of Heroin Overdose

Pennsylvania authorities believe a 5-month-old infant starved to death after her parents fatally overdosed on heroin nearly two weeks ago. The tiny body of Summer Chambers was found Thursday inside a bassinet in the upstairs bedroom of a Johnstown, Pennsylvania home, according to police. The remains of her 19-year-old mother, Chelsea Cardaro, were found in a neighboring bathroom while her father, Jason Chambers, 27, was found lifeless on the first floor.

Local pathologists estimated Summer’s parents had been dead a week as the infant starved and grew dehydrated before a friend found them, according to Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan. Authorities believe the mother and father died almost simultaneously.
“It’s so sad and really illustrates just how bad the heroin epidemic is, not only here but across the country,” Callihan said in an interview. She continued, “Had they not died within minutes of each other, we believe one would have called 911 for help for the other,” adding, “The pathologists said a child can live a couple of days without food or milk. She was only 5 months old, so she was on her back … she had no way to move from that bassinet.”

A friend was called to check on Chambers and Cardaro when the couple, who had recently moved to Pennsylvania from New York, failed to show up for planned holiday festivities. It was then the friend found the couple dead and the infant starved in her bassinet.

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Police recovered evidence of drug use and heroin from the couple’s home and believe the two “were using a substance that was obviously laced with something”, according to reports. Tests are being performed on the heroin that was removed from the residence to determine if other chemicals were present. Last month, Chambers overdosed on heroin and responding police and EMS technicians revived him using Narcan, a heroin overdose antidote. State child welfare authorities were contacted after Chambers overdosed, Callihan says. Officials visited the home on Dec. 7 and felt everything was appropriate, and the mother denied using drugs of any kind.

Last month, Chambers overdosed on heroin and responding police and EMS technicians revived him using Narcan, a heroin overdose antidote. State child welfare authorities were contacted after Chambers overdosed, Callihan says. Officials visited the home on Dec. 7 and felt everything was appropriate, and Cardaro denied being a drug user.

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