CANTON, Ohio - Cody Powell, 29, of Sebring, entered a not guilty plea to a charge of child endangering in Canton Municipal Court on Tuesday. Authorities in Summit County say had it not been for the involvement of good Samaritans he might not be alive following a suspected drug overdose.
Eric Asher and his fiance, Alexandria Whitt, say they were driving by a shopping center on Whipple Avenue when they noticed something wrong. They reportedly saw Powell and Michelle Hall, 29 laying on the parking lot ground -- unresponsive -- and outside of their car.
"I knew right away what it had to deal with," said Asher.
Another witness called 9-1-1 while Whitt went to the back seat of the car, where she reportedly found a one-year-old child strapped in a car seat.
"The baby was covered in sweat actually, very, very pink looking," Asher told Fox 8 News.
"All the windows were up except for the driver's door that was open, but that didn't help the baby in the back seat," he said.
Whitt took a bottle of water from Asher's truck and tried to cool the baby down while deputies were tending to the two unconscious adults.
"Deputy Tyson was immediately able to identify that the unresponsive subjects were experiencing an opiate overdose so he retrieved his Narcan from his patrol vehicle. As he was preparing to administer Narcan to the female victim, she became responsive and was able to move out of the way. Deputy Tyson then administered two doses of Narcan to the male subject and he started to show some signs he was responding to that," said Sgt. Ryan Carver of the Stark County Sheriff's Office.
Both Powell and Hall were charged with child endangering.
The one-year-old was placed in the custody of Children Services in Mahoning County, where investigators say Powell and Hall already had a pending case.
"Many times when these people are overdosing, and in this case it's a perfect example, had not anyone been around -- the child was certainly in a life endangering situation had she remained in that vehicle in those hot temperatures," said Carver, "Just in general its a sign of how the opiate epidemic is affecting society and reaches out to everyone, not just the people who are using, but their family members and everyone around them."