by Guy Page
According to his obituary, Christopher Wicker Jr. was six months old when he died at his home in East Barre on May 3, 2022. Now his parents have pleaded innocent to involuntary manslaughter and other charges after, police say, a fentanyl-laced bag was found stuck in his airway.
According to WCAX and Times-Argus media reports, Christopher Wicker, 34, and Brianna Wicker, 25, pleaded innocent in Washington Superior Court Monday, October 3 to involuntary manslaughter and child cruelty with death resulting.
Police had to wait several months for test results from an out-of-state toxicology lab. The results say that a small bag – drug paraphernalia – was found in the victim’s throat, but that a high concentration of an illegal drug cocktail of fentanyl, para-fluorofentanyl and the veterinary tranquilizer xylazine was the child’s actual cause of death.
“The cause of death was an acute intoxication of mixed drugs… There was a foreign object consistent with what is commonly seen as packaging of narcotics that was found in the child’s throat,” Barre Police Chief William Dodge said, according to the Times-Argus.
The couple was released after arraignment.
In a May 6 GoFundMe page (since removed), Brianna Wicker sought financial support for their son’s funeral service, saying “he passed away on May 3, 2022. It is still unknown as to why. Our boy was sick, but we thought he was better. He was the happiest and most beautiful baby.”