Documents: Couple admits smoking meth while watching children before boy's death

Published: Aug. 3, 2018 at 12:23 PM CDT
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A couple arrested after the death of a three-year old child in Manitowoc had been smoking meth while caring for the boy, according to a probable cause statement obtained by Action 2 News.

On Friday, Jamie Lynn Schrank, 38, and Eduardo Gamez, 46, went before a Manitowoc County judge for bail hearings.

Schrank is facing possible charges of Neglecting a Child, Possession of Meth, and Possession of THC.

Gamez is facing possible charges of Neglecting a Child and Possession of Meth.

Official charges have not yet been filed.

The judge ordered Schrank be held on a $25,000 cash bond and maintain absolute sobriety. She can have no contact with Gamez.

Gamez was also held on a $25,000 cash bond. He must also maintain absolute sobriety and have no contact with Schrank.

"This is a very serious incident. As the court can see from the probable cause statement, it involves repeated acts of child neglect, which is a class H felony-- not just a misdemeanor-- as well as the use that was done in front of the child," said Jacalyn Labre, Manitowoc County District Attorney.

On July 28, Manitowoc Police were called to a hospital where a 3-year old boy was being treated for "severe external and internal injuries," police say.

The boy was transported to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Milwaukee where he underwent further surgery. The boy died that day.

Investigators say they learned Schrank and her boyfriend, Gamez, were babysitting the child at their home on Waldo Blvd in Manitowoc. The couple was watching the boy while the child's parent was at work.

The couple's 5-year-old boy was also at the home.

Police interviewed the couple. They say Gamez admitted that both he and Schrank smoke meth.

Schrank told investigators that they both smoked meth on July 26 and July 27. They were watching the victim and their child during this time.

Schrank admitted to smoking meth about three times per day.

"Jamie stated the methamphetamine was smoked in a separate room from where the boys were," reads the probable cause statement.

On July 31, a search warrant was executed at the couple's Waldo Blvd home. Police say they found a meth pipe and 0.3 grams of meth.

On Aug. 1, police located Schrank to take her into custody. She was on her way to court for a hearing involving her child. Police say she was carrying a bag with a meth pipe and meth in it.

Police took her to jail where staff found marijuana in her possession.

Police say this was not the first time the couple used drugs in front of a child.

"There was also another incident previously, a little over a year ago, involving drug possession with one of the children being around, so I think this has shown a pattern of activity and non-compliance," Labre said.

The investigation into the death of the child is ongoing. An autopsy has been completed. Results could take several weeks.

Police and prosecutors will then determine if additional charges are warranted.

The Department of Human Services has placed Schrank and Gamez's child outside the home.

Police say the suspects had been babysitting the child who died for several months. They are not related to the victim.

Police ask anyone with information to call them at (920) 686-6551. Anonymous tips are welcome through the Crime Stoppers hotline at (920) 683-4466.

Schrank and Gamez are scheduled to return to court on Aug. 13.