2 Year Old Child Drowns; Clay County Man Arrested On Manslaughter, Drug Charges

A 2-year-old child drowned Tuesday in the family’s swimming pool on Oldfield Drive in Fleming Island, according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Ashley Keith Smart, who was caring for his son at the time, is behind bars on $277,500 bail, charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child as well as possession of heroin and marijuana, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies went to the home just after 10:30 a.m. when dispatchers received an emergency call saying that 2-year-old Aiden Keith Smart was unresponsive and turning blue, the Sheriff’s Office said. Clay County Fire Rescue took the child to the Baptist Clay Medical Campus, where he was pronounced dead just after 11 a.m.

Details about how the child drowned and where his 41-year-old father was at the time was redacted from the arrest report. Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Angela Spears indicated no further comment would be made as the case is investigated. But investigators did search the home and found .07 grams of heroin in a kitchen cabinet and 2.5 grams of marijuana on the dining room table, the report said.

The heroin had been packaged in seven small plastic bags, some still full when they were found next to three hypodermic needles containing a clear substance, the report said. A spoon with a piece of cotton in it also was found in the cabinet. A cotton belt with blood stains was found on a counter top.

Responding to whether the Florida Department of Children and Families had ever been called to the Fleming Island home before, the agency said it “had no previous contact with the deceased child.” It has initiated an investigation and will work with law enforcement in the case.

“Additionally, we are providing services to help the family during this difficult time,” the agency said.

This is the second child reported dead this year in Clay County in the Children and Families’ child fatality database. The other death was that of a premature newborn who died April 6 where “there are concerns the mother’s substance use contributed to the premature birth.”

That is compared to eight reported deaths in 2016 in Clay County, two of which were drownings, according to department data. A 7-month-old baby boy died April 5, 2016, in a bathtub while his mother dozed off while soaking in the water with him on her lap, the report states. Another child, 1, drowned Nov. 11 in the family’s swimming pool when he got through a dog door while being cared for by grandparents. One child died from natural causes, another from accidental trauma. And a 9-month-old baby died Feb. 4, 2016, after she “sustained lethal injuries” while in the care of her mother’s boyfriend, the data states.

Dan Scanlan: (904) 359-4549

Source : http://jacksonville.com/news/public-safety/2017-05-17/2-year-old-clay-county-child-drowns-father-arrested-manslaughter-drug

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