Police: 2-year-old found dead had drugs in his system, mother charged

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 10:52 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2022 at 2:40 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A Kansas City woman has been charged in connection with the death of her son after his body was found covered on a bed Wednesday morning.

A probable cause document stated someone called the Kansas City Police Department to report that Michaela Chism’s 2-year-old child had died at a residence in the 6500 block of Paseo, according to court records.

First responders found the child lying on top of a bed, covered. Officers removed a blanket and saw the boy was unresponsive, his feet discolored, court documents stated.

Officers noticed “a notable defect was present on the right side of the child’s back and a raise, discolored scab on top of the defect gave the indication of infection.”

After the body was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital, lab results indicated the boy had amphetamines in his system.

Chism told police in an interview room that she had stayed at the residence for about two weeks and “stated that people, including herself, consumed controlled substances at the residence and identified two drugs that she consumed there as methamphetamine and Fentanyl.”

She admitted to investigators that one evening she woke up and began watching TV, and then noticed her son not moving. When she went to check on him, he was unresponsive, the document stated. Knowing he was dead, Chism told police he died on the couch and was moved to a bedroom after police initially arrived for a welfare check at the residence.

A 3-year-old child was also found in the residence but was unharmed.

After obtaining a search warrant, detectives found drug paraphernalia throughout the residence. They also discovered “multiple amounts of white crystal-like substances, white rock-like substances, and green leafy substances; there were also multiple bottles of prescription pill bottles,” the probable cause document stated.

Chism was charged with first-degree child endangerment and first-degree child endangerment involving drugs. Her bond amount was set at $50,000.

Neighbors told KCTV5 they had been concerned about conditions at the house for at least four months.

Greta Erhardt, the president of the Neighbors United for Action, said several residents had called repeatedly about drug use at the home. They also complained about code violations, fires and suspicious activity. She said some neighbors had even called the Missouri Department of Social Services, concerned about the children at the house.

“We’ve been trying to get the drug activity out of our neighborhood and it’s taken a lot of time,” Erhardt said.

Another neighbor, Robert Hickmon, said he routinely found syringes outside the house. He described blatant drug use happening on a regular basis.

“I’ve called and I’ve called and I’ve called,” Hickmon said, noting that he and Erhardt had talked about the possibility of something happening to one of the children at the home. “We knew it was going to happen. We knew it. We said it from the jump.”

KCTV5 has requested information from the KCPD about past calls to the house. The department was still processing that request as of Thursday evening. The Missouri Department of Social Services said it could not release information about calls regarding child abuse and neglect.

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Editor’s note: The child who died was 2 years old. The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office initially reported the child who died was 3 years of age.