Mass. couple arrested after death of 14-year-old boy with autism

Published: Oct. 25, 2020 at 4:59 AM CDT
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FALL RIVER, Mass. (WJAR) - A Massachusetts couple faces neglect and drug charges after the sudden death of a 14-year-old boy with autism. An autopsy will determine if more charges are warranted in the case.

Police say they found evidence of drug abuse and neglect while searching the Fall River, Massachusetts, home of 14-year-old David Almond, who died Wednesday. Hundreds of bags of suspected heroin were found in the home.

David was a triplet, and he had autism, as do his two brothers. Two of the teenagers were found to have fentanyl in their systems and one, who remains hospitalized, is considered a victim of neglect.

“The physical state of both boys was so dramatically emaciated and under-nourished there is no other conclusion - neglect and abuse,” said Assistant District Attorney Seth Aitken.

John Almond, 33, and his girlfriend, 26-year-old Jaclyn Coleman, were arrested Thursday. They both face charges of neglect and possession of a Class A drug. Coleman is also accused of attempting to destroy a cell phone in front of police officers and assaulting one who attempted to stop her.

The state Department of Children and Families took custody of the surviving brothers.

“They must have been living in horror in that house,” said Alfred Cuttle, who lives across the hall from the family. “Me and my wife are a mess about it.”

An autopsy will be performed to determine David’s exact cause of death and whether further charges are warranted in the case.

Almond and Coleman are being held without bail until a dangerousness hearing on Oct. 28.

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