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Lake City couple charged after baby dies, toddler tests positive for drugs

An investigation dating back to January has led to the arrest of two Lake City adults on child neglect charges.
Credit: Columbia County Sheriff's Office
Lake City parents Chayanne Schilling and Johnathon Lopez charged with child neglect in 3-month-old's death

LAKE CITY, Fla. — A Lake City couple is facing charges after their three-month-old baby died and another toddler tested positive for drugs, according to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

Johnathon Lopez and Chayanne Schilling, both 24 years old, were arrested Monday on child neglect charges. According to a report from CCSO, a deputy was called to the Lake City Medical Center on Jan. 8, in reference to a deceased three-month-old child.

When the deputy arrived, she discovered Schilling was being taken to the hospital by EMS due to suicidal thoughts and statements. Schilling had to be sedated on the way due to becoming combative, the report says.

When Schilling arrived at the hospital, a doctor reported seeing track marks on her arms and burn marks on her fingers, which the report says is consisten with injecting illegal drugs. 

The deputy who responded learned another child was at Schilling's home with deputies. She called the Florida Department of Children and Families, who interviewed Schilling at the hospital.

The report says Schilling was on felony probation, so the responding deputy contacted her probation officer. Schilling was Baker Acted in the hospital, the report says. Deputies then interviewed Lopez in a separate room.

The sheriff's office went to the couple's home on SW Pinemount Road and found the toddler with blood on his cheek, dirty and wearing only a T-shirt and diaper despite the cold weather, the report says. Neighbors told deputies that it was common to see the child "running around in just a diaper, regardless of the weather, by himself," according to the report.

Deputies saw a burn pile for trash to be burned on the property, including glass and other debris that could harm the child if left unsupervised, the report says.

DCF took custody of the toddler and child protective services took hair samples for drug testing, the report says. 

On March 2, the hair follicle testing came back with positive results, the report indicates.

On May 4, deputies determined that Schilling was in violation of her probation based on a positive drug screening. She was taken to Orange County, where her original charge stemmed from that resulted in her probation sentence, the report says.

The deputy requested a warrant for Schilling and Lopez's arrests on child neglect due to the toddler testing positive for illegal drugs, the report says.