Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014
Local News

Concerns raised about father before daughter died in car


Published:

SEBRING - If evidence exists that a father was using drugs the night before the morning he's accused of leaving his daughter to eventually die in a hot vehicle, it can be used during his trial, attorneys agreed last week.

But any evidence of drug use before that won't be a part of the testimony, the attorneys agreed.

Records released last week by the State Attorney's Office also indicate that concerns were raised previously about Christopher King, 35, the father, before the child died in the car. However, it was indicated at a hearing that any contacts with state Department of Children and Family Services won't be a part of the trial because none of those situations contributed to the death of the child.

King was arrested in connection with the death of his 2-year-old daughter, Amelia King, and charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child and child neglect with a great harm after an autopsy showed that the daughter died of heat stroke.

Initially, King told authorities that his daughter and her 4-year-old brother were playing outside and that the brother accidentally locked his sister in the car. But records show that an acquaintance of King told authorities that he told him several stories about what happened.

The brother told authorities that they forgot Amelia was in the vehicle and that the father, who took a nap after getting home, didn't remember that until the brother awoke him from the nap, the report said.

Records say that Heather King, the mother of Amelia, who is divorced from Christopher King, told authorities that a month before Amelia died she went to King's home to pick up or visit her children and discovered that "the children were dirty and that Amelia had feces smeared on her butt," the report said.

The mother also told authorities that earlier in the year she had concerns about the children's safety because she believed King was using drugs, the report said.

She also said that several contacts with the Department of Children and Family Services about the children occurred, the report said.

One child, who was apparently not with King at the time of Amelia's death, "was afraid to be left alone with Christopher," the mother told authorities, the report said.

The mother told authorities that the child was being treated for mental abuse and post traumatic stress disorder, the report said.

Friends told authorities that Christopher King would go out and leave the children in the vehicle, but make sure the air conditioning was running.

The reports contained several references regarding drug use. One man told authorities that King has smoked methamphetamine, but when that happened was unclear. The same witness indicated that King and he got high together, but didn't specify the type of drug they used.

Another person told investigators that King had asked him to go in his house the day Amelia died and dispose of marijuana.

No date has been set for a trial.

jmeisel@highlandstoday.com

(863) 386-5834

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