St. Joseph, MO (KCTV) — A St. Joseph man and a mother have been charged in connection with Thursday’s death of an infant inside a drug house.
The boy’s mother, 28-year-old Sasha Joann Lizar is charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child. Roy Kenneth Miller Jr., 59, is charged with felony abuse of a child resulting in death.
According to the child’s obituary, Carter Eugene Lizar passed away on his first birthday at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
Neighbors didn’t even know the child was staying in the boarded up mobile home near South 36th and Monterey streets until they heard screams for help last Monday and tried to save the baby.
John Miller, who is not related to the suspect, said he was doing yard work when he heard Lizar’s screams for help.
“She was screaming for help. She was holding something and I looked over and she kind of turned to me and she’s holding that little boy,” John Miller said. “The mom was hysterical. I’ve never seen her or her son before.”
Miller says his military training kicked in and he began CPR.
“His heart would race and then stop so I’d do a chest compression,” Miller recalled. “He wasn’t breathing. Every so often he’d gasp for air.”
Court records state that Miller assaulted Carter by violently shaking him, causing substantial brain trauma resulting in his death. Police said Miller had care custody and control of the child at the time of the injury.
Police said Lizar would bring her baby to the trailer to use methamphetamine and others there were also using drugs around the child.
“It is just unreal. I mean, we knew there was suspicious activity, but I never dreamed something like this would happen,” neighbor Amy Bingham said. “Called Strike Force, police … all the neighbors have, then this happens. It is sad it takes something horrible like this to happen for anything to be done.”
John Miller says he’s haunted by the child’s dying breaths and the suspect’s actions.
“The older man who lives there said the kid was just choking, that he would be fine. He was kind of really calm, which made for a weird situation,” Miller said. “I did everything I could. It’s heartbreaking that he ended up passing.”
Lizar faces a maximum of seven years in prison. Miller could serve up to 30 years a life sentence.
“I believe in the law. I fought for these rights so I hope this happens they get prosecuted but in my heart I hope they get released and we neighbors can deal with it ourselves,” John Miller said.
Funeral services for Carter will be at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Rupp Funeral Home, 6054 Pryor Ave., in St. Joseph. He will be cremated following memorial services. Online condolence may be made at www.ruppfuneral.com.