The 15-year-old North Forsyth High School student found unresponsive Monday morning in a friend's backyard smoked pot, drank bourbon, ingested prescription medication and huffed dust cleaner the night before he died, according to the sheriff's incident report.
His 14-year-old friend, who lives in what deputies termed "deplorable conditions" in a large home on Lake Lanier, told investigators they started partying around 5:30 p.m. Sunday. He said he went inside at 10:30 p.m. and assumed his friend, who lived just one-tenth of a mile away, had walked home.
Instead it appears the 15-year-old never left. The 14-year-old told deputies he woke up the next morning to find his friend in the backyard, not breathing. He informed his father, Robert Lancaster, who had returned from St. Simons Island with his wife Laura earlier that morning.
The investigation took an unexpected turn when deputies went inside the couple's rambling lakefront residence, located in the 9000 block of Walnut Cove Court in Gainesville.
"There was a lot of food that had been sitting out for a long time," said Forsyth sheriff's spokesman Tim House. "Bugs were everywhere."
Investigators found a decaying opossum and "a lot of feces" piled throughout the home, House said.
The Lancasters were arrested and charged with second-degree cruelty to children, a felony. Because of the charge, a judge must hear any request for bond. The couple is scheduled to appear before a magistrate Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the exact cause of death of the 15-year-old has not been determined. An autopsy is being performed by the GBI Crime Lab, House said.
Medical experts say alcoholic beverages and Klonipin, prescribed for patients suffering from seizures or panic attacks, should never be mixed, as the medication can increase the effects of alcohol. And huffing dust cleaner just once can be deadly, according to MedicineNet.com
"Sudden cardiac death from fatal cardiac arrhythmias has been reported even in teen inhalant abusers," according to the website. "Death from huffing can occur upon the first time of use, or after prolonged inhalant abuse. Other causes of death include asphyxiation, aspiration or suffocation."
It's unclear who supplied the drugs, alcohol and prescription medication.
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