Barre, VT — A four-month investigation into the death of an infant in Barre Town last May has led to the arrest of the baby’s parents.
Christopher Wickett, 35, and Brianna Wickett, 25, were charged with involuntary manslaughter and cruelty to a child with death resulting. They were released with conditions.
Barre Town Police Chief William Dodge said Tuesday that first responders found the infant unresponsive May 3 with a small wax baggie stuck in his throat. The official cause of death was acute mixed drug intoxication. The drugs involved were fentanyl and xylazine, a veterinary anesthesia drug and muscle relaxer.
Dodge said it took four months to file charges in the case because authorities were awaiting a toxicology report from an out-of-state lab.
Alyssa Pratt, a teacher at Spaulding High School, recalled the day the child died clearly.
“There was a cop car out there, and there were kids in the car crying, like it was 7:00 in the morning and I’m bringing my kids to school, so obviously they’re asking what’s going on,” Pratt said.”
Pratt said signs of drug use and sale are scattered around the neighborhood, including a spray-painted message on the sidewalk offering heroin for sale at a nearby apartment building.
“It’s very upsetting to me as a parent, knowing that’s happening in my neighborhood,” she said.