Police: Child drowned while father took drugs inside home
SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal held a press conference Wednesday to announce an arrest in the case of 4-year-old Timothy Brooks, who drowned at his home.
Timothy was found unresponsive in his swimming pool March 5 shortly before 6 p.m.
Slidell Police responded to the home in the 100 block of West Pinewood Drive after Timothy's father, 24-year-old Zachary Brooks, discovered the boy's body.
According to Fandal, Brooks was inside the home taking drugs while Timothy was left unattended in the backyard near the pool. Fandal said investigators were "disturbed" by the condition of the home during the investigation, and executed a search warrant.
"The home was in deplorable conditions," said Fandal. "Trash and food was piled up throughout the house. There were animal feces and urine, no running water, and the swimming pool was riddled with debris."
Fandal said that the house was also full of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
"This is a tragic, senseless death that could have been prevented," Fandal said. "The drug use, the conditions of the home, and how the boy was being cared for led to this 4-year-old's death."
Charles Schimmel Jr., who lives next door, showed FOX 8 the pool where Timothy drowned.
"They were very quiet, and my wife and I were quiet, so didn't really get to know them, except they were good neighbors," Schimmel said.
Schimmel said he often saw visitors at the home.
"There were a lot that came and went," he said. "A lot. I'd say more than four to six. Pretty much on a daily basis."
Chief Fandal said that Brooks had full custody of Timothy, and that the boy's mother was in jail at the time of the incident.
Fandal said the condition of the home was the worst he had ever seen in his 38 years of law enforcement.
"This was disgusting," Fandal.
Brooks has been booked with negligent homicide and second-degree cruelty to a child and is being held on a $200,000 bond at the St. Tammany Parish Jail.
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