WARREN — “I am going to be paying for it for the rest of my life.”
This is what the mother of a two-year-old girl who drowned August 17 in Hatch Run Creek told investigators during the investigation into the child’s death. She and her husband have been charged by Pennsylvania State Police in the little girl’s demise.
An affidavit filed with the district court indicates Nichol Barrett and Richard Barrett, of Conewango Avenue, have been charged with one count each of first-degree felony endangering the welfare of a child and two counts each of second-degree felony endangerment of a child.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, two siblings, ages five and four, were found wondering alone with a dog on Hatch Run Creek at about 2:04 p.m. by a neighbor. State Police responded and moved the children to safety at a nearby residence.
At about 2:51 p.m., police received a call from the mother saying she had found her daughter, aged two years nine months, floating face down in the creek. A responding Trooper administered life saving measures. The infant was taken to Warren General Hospital and pronounced dead in the emergency room.
During the probe into the unattended death, the couple told Troopers the children were in the back yard playing. They told Police they were on the phone for about 5 minutes when they noticed the three children were not in the yard playing.
Police told the couple that based on their timeline and phone records, there was no physical way three bare foot children could have traveled the roughly one-fifth mile to where they were found, especially with rocks, limbs and brush lining the creek.
The mother then told Police she lost track of time and it could have been as much as 40 minutes. Her husband also gave police the same timeline, according to the affidavit.