drowning death
4:28 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Stepfather Charged With Endangering Child Welfare In Boy's Death

The stepfather of a 12-year-old boy who drowned in the Meramec River in August has been charged with seven counts of endangering the welfare of a child after supplying alcohol to seven minors.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch says investigators gathered evidence from witnesses and surveillance videos of 42-year-old Todd Combs buying and distributing the alcohol.

Combs' stepson, Christopher Marks, was among the children who drank alcohol at a family gathering Aug. 5 along the river. Fitch says it's not known how much alcohol Christopher consumed since the body produces ethanol during composition.

Christopher was last seen swinging on a rope near the river in the Palisades area of Pacific. His body was recovered downstream three days later by Combs and a friend.

Christopher's mother, Beth Marks, has since separated from Combs. She said she expected charges and that she is still grieving her son’s death.  

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