Berea couple charged after 8-year-old’s heroin overdose

BEREA, Ohio-- The parents of a Berea boy are behind bars after their 8-year-old son overdosed on heroin.

Paramedics were called to a house on Milton Street in Berea at about 10:30 p.m. on Jan. 11 when the child stopped breathing. According to the police report, the boy's father, Charles Dowdy, was performing chest compressions when emergency crews arrived.

An officer located a pulse and the 8-year-old was taken to Southwest General Health Center.

Berea Police Lt. Joe Hedinger said there were opiates and other drugs in the child's system. Hospital staff also found suspected contraband in a makeshift container tucked in the boy's sock. It was seized as evidence.

Dowdy and the boy's mother, Danielle Simko, were arrested at the hospital.

Both were charged with drug possession and endangering children. During their video arraignment on Friday, bonds for Dowdy and Simko were continued at $150,000. Their next hearing is Feb. 22.

Police said the child is staying with relatives and appears to be doing well.

This is the youngest overdose victim the Berea Police Department has handled.

Story updated at 11:13 a.m.: While police cite Dowdy saying the boy is 7, the age on the report indicates he is 8 years old.