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5-month-old baby's death ruled a homicide; parents died of fentanyl overdoses

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (WJAC) – The death of a 5-month-old girl who was found dead last month in a Kernville home has been ruled a homicide by Cambria County Coroner Jeff Lees.

Lees said autopsy and toxicology reports confirmed that Summer Chambers died of dehydration and starvation.

He said toxicology reports on the baby’s parents, Jason Chambers, 27, and Chelsea Cardaro, 19, found that they died from acute fentanyl overdoses.

Lees said the amount of fentanyl in Cardaro's body was four times above the lethal range and Jason Chambers was 2½ times above the lethal range.

He said fentanyl is more dangerous than the heroin that is being seen more frequently in the region.

Lees initially said the parents likely died of heroin overdoses. Heroin was found at the scene on Dec. 22.

He said the baby died around Dec. 20, four or five days after the parents, whose deaths were ruled accidental.

“It’s unfathomable to think what this child endured while it was alive,” acting Johnstown police Chief Jeff Janciga said at a news conference. “I hope we never have to prosecute a person for the death of their child.”

Because both parents are dead, Janciga said district attorney officials and police detectives are investigating the baby’s death.

But, he said, “I’m not sure where the investigation is at this point.”

There were 94 overdose deaths in Cambria County in 2016, with dozens of other cases still to be determined, Lees said.

He said 16 people have died from overdoses in 2017.

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