Death of 11-year-old found in Weathersfield motel under investigation

Police listed the death as an apparent suicide, but the coroner is looking into medical and mental health records

The investigation into a child's death at a Niles motel is still open, even though it appears that he committed suicide.


WEATHERSFIELD TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – The investigation into a child’s death at a motel in Weathersfield Township is still open, even though it appears that he committed suicide.

The 11-year-old boy’s father found him unresponsive in the McKinley Motel 11 days ago. The boy later passed away.

The Mahoning County Coroner hasn’t ruled on the cause of death yet, saying he is¬†waiting for toxicology results and checking into the child’s medical and mental health records before deciding if it was intentional.

Trumbull County Children Services Executive Director Tim Schaffner said he can’t comment on the specifics of the case. He said Children Services works closely with the police and prosecutor’s office on such cases.

“In the case of the horrible eventuality of a child death, oftentimes, unless it’s a car accident, we’ll be called out to the scene to be of service,” he said.

The boy’s mother, Crystal Shuck, failed to show up to court on drug possession and child endangering charges. Officials at Niles Municipal Court said there’s currently a warrant out for her arrest.

Police records show that in an unrelated incident a month prior, officers responded to the same motel for a possible overdose.

A police report says Shuck took more than 30 cold pills and smoked marijuana on December 4 while her two young sons were there. She said she took the pills to get high, police said.

Officers described the inside of the motel room as extremely filthy and unsuitable for the children.

There was a large amount dog feces on the floor in the children’s rooms, according to the police report.

Officers said two dogs there appeared to be neglected, with matted fur, open sores, and fleas.

The only things in the fridge were cheese, pop, beer, and yogurt, police said.

This story corrects the location of the motel.

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