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Woman facing charges dies

A woman facing charges in connection with the 2014 death of her 8-month-old child was found dead earlier this month. 

Crystal D. Martin, 25, had been facing two felony charges of endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree. The case had been scheduled for trial in October. 

St. Francois County Captain Greg Armstrong confirmed this week from Jefferson County officials that Martin was found dead on Aug. 6. 

Eight-month-old Caleb James Belleville died of acute meth intoxication in October of 2014. Alcohol was also found in the child’s blood. Martin, the child’s mother, was accused of allowing two of her young children to be exposed to meth.

The child’s father had also been charged but he has also died. In April 2018, James Belleville Jr. was found dead on property off of Turley Road from an apparent suicide. 

Belleville had been facing charges of a class A felony of murder in the second degree, a class C felony of endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree, a class B felony of possession of a controlled substance and a class C felony of endangering the welfare of a child.

“We had to dismiss their charges obviously,” Prosecuting Attorney Melissa Gilliam said last week. “Tragic situation for all.”

According to court records, the eight-month-old child died on Oct. 16, 2014 at 3636 Turley Road in Valles Mines, which is located in St. Francois County. The child’s parents were Belleville and Martin.

Former Prosecuting Attorney Jerrod Mahurin said there was so much meth in the child’s body that it couldn’t even be measured.

According to court records, during the death investigation, authorities went to the home on Turley Road where the couple was caring for Martin’s three-year-old child. They photographed garbage throughout the home, mouse feces and food that had been left out for an extended time.

The three-year-old child underwent a hair follicle testing on Feb. 17, 2015, to test for the presence of drugs. He tested positive for meth, amphetamines, oxycodone, canniboids and THC.

Martin also had a hair follicle tested and it came back positive for opiates, oxycodone, marijuana, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone.

Belleville tested positive for marijuana metabolite, oxymorphone, amphetamine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone and oxycodone.

When interviewed on Feb. 17, 2015, Belleville initially told investigators he hadn’t used meth in several months. He then admitted to using meth within the past four months, and finally admitted to using meth that January.



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