Junkie Parents Who Let 2-Year-Old Drown are Indicted, NJ Prosecutor Says
BERKELEY — An Ocean County couple has been indicted on a slew of child-endangerment and drug charges nearly a year after their two-year-old daughter was discovered drowned in a neighbor’s pool.
The drowning ended the brief life of Maddigan Grace McCarthy, who authorities said had partly been raised by her 9-year-old sister, who stepped in for their drug-addled and neglectful parents. Neighbors told police that they had seen little Maddigan wandering the neighborhood unsupervised on previous occasions.
Robert S. Trella Jr., 41, and Brigitte M. McCarthy, 31, are each facing two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child and three counts of third-degree drug possession. Trella also is facing a fourth-degree charge of tampering with evidence.
Madigan’s body was found Aug. 17 after police were called to the neighborhood because her sister was running down the street saying her little sister was missing.
Police said they found marijuana, Suboxone and heroin in the family’s home.
Police also said McCarthy instructed the 9-year-old daughter to retrieve a tin containing suspected heroin, which she tried to destroy in the presence of cops. In the meantime, Trella tried to destroy the marijuana in the home, authorities said.
Both parents have been locked up since their arrest Jan. 20. Their bail was set at $150,000, with no 10 percent option. They also were ordered to have no contact with their children.