CLAYTON, Mo., Sept. 27 (UPI) -- The stepfather of a Missouri boy who drowned has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly giving alcohol to minors, police said.
Police said they believe Todd Combs gave alcohol to seven minors, including his stepson, 12-year-old Christopher Marks, at an Aug. 5 family event near the Meramec River, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday.
At the family gathering, Christopher was last seen playing on a rope swing near the river at about 7:30 p.m.
A search for the boy was conducted and it was Combs who found Christopher's body a few days later, a few miles away while he and a friend were searching on a jet ski.
Investigators said it will be impossible to determine exactly how much alcohol was in Christopher's system when he died because ethanol produced during decomposition will show up on a toxicology report.
Beth Marks, Christopher's mother, said she wasn't surprised that Combs was being charged, adding that she and Combs have separated since her son's death.
"That's something he has to deal with," she said.
Combs was charged with seven counts of endangering the welfare of a child, all misdemeanors, police said.
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