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Two charged in connection with August drowning

Charges have been filed in connection with an August drowning in Hatch Run that claimed the life of a 2-year-old child.

And one of the accused is the child’s mother.

Warren-based Pennsylvania State Police filed felony child endangerment charges against Nichol V. Barrett, 25, identified as the deceased child’s mother, and her husband, Richard Duane Barrett, 54.

Both reside at 3435 Conewango Ave., according to court records. They also both face three charges – one count each of first-degree felony endangering the welfare of children and two counts of second-degree felony endangering the welfare of children.

The drowning, according to the affidavit of probable cause, occurred on Aug. 17 when Nichol Barrett reported “finding her daughter floating face down in Hatch Run Creek.”

She was pronounced dead at Warren General Hospital and an autopsy determined the cause of death to be drowning.

Both defendants told police in an interview that there was only a “5-6 minute time frame” where they were “not physically seeing the children,” per the affidavit.

But two other children in the home were found by a neighbor 1/5th of a mile from the residence approximately 45 minutes before the drowning was reported and police allege that “there is no physical way” the children covered that distance in five to six minutes “barefoot, through the dry and wet creek bed and rough rocks, briers, limbs and such in/around the creek bed” to where they were found by the neighbor.

See Saturday’s Times Observer for a full story on the investigation.

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