Coroner: Bluffton boy died of blunt force trauma

BLUFFTON, Ind. (AP) — A coroner has ruled blunt force trauma killed a 3-year-old northeastern Indiana boy who died while his mother and two other people allegedly smoked methamphetamine.

Wells County Coroner Kent Gilbert signed the death certificate for Owen Collins on Monday. He ruled the death a homicide.

The boy’s burned body was found in a rural area Jan. 18 after he was reported missing.

The coroner said he found no drugs in the boy’s body.

Owen’s mother, 21-year-old Breanna Arnold, and her 30-year-old boyfriend, Zachary Barnes, have been charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death, abuse of a corpse, dealing methamphetamine and other counts.

A teenager also has been charged in the case. A hearing set for July 13 should determine whether he’s charged as an adult or a minor.

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