MERRIAM, KS (KCTV) – A Merriam couple accused of killing a child in November appeared before a judge for the first time on Friday.
On Thursday, 26-year-old Jean Pierre Morales and 29-year-old Shelly Vallejo were charged with first-degree murder, aggravated child endangerment and unlawful drug possession.
At 50th and Mastin, neighbors remember the day when an ambulance came to the home of Vallejo’s parents. They say the ambulance was there for the young couple’s son, a preschooler, and police were there as well. The couple didn’t live at the home anymore, they said, but visited often with him and their other children.
Half a mile away, at 53rd and Switzer, a different set of neighbors remembers seeing police as well, swarms of them, including crime scene investigators. The couple lived at a duplex there, they said, with at least five children. Play equipment still sat in the back yard of the rental property Friday. Neighbors said the family moved out not long after the boy’s death.
Court documents don’t specify how the child died but they do refer to the unlawful possession of Fentanyl, a powerful opioid painkiller.
The charges filed Thursday accuse the two of killing the child “in the commission of an inherently dangerous felony, to wit: aggravated endangering a child.” They don’t specify what the endangerment entailed but do include a separate charge that they “feloniously possess[ed] a quantity of Fentanyl.”
Neighbors say Morales and Vallejo moved in with her parents after the child’s death and were arrested there by Johnson County Sheriff’s deputies on Thursday.
Their bonds are currently set at $1 million each.