Stepfather Charged With Endangering Children in Meramec Drowning Death
St. Louis County Police said he provided alcohol to 12-year-old Christopher Marks before his drowning death as well as six other children.
Todd Combs, stepfather of Christopher Marks—the 12-year-old who drowned in the Meramec River eariler this summer—was charged for providing alcohol to his stepson and six other minors during an Aug. 5 outing on the Meramec River.
The disappearance of 12-year-old Christopher touched off an intensive search that included dive teams.
Combs, 42, of the 7800 block of LaBelle Street in Affton, was charged Wednesday with seven counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
St. Louis County Police said he provided alcohol to seven children under the age of 17 during the outing at Pacific Palisades Conservation Area. Some children on the outing, which was supervised only by Combs, were younger than Christopher Marks.
St. Louis County prosecuting attorney charges indicate Combs “encouraged, aided and caused” the children to drink alcohol.
Combs also found Christopher’s body Aug. 7 near the Allenton access point, about six miles downriver from where the boy was last seen playing on a rope swing.
Combs had several other alcohol-related charges on his record:
- 1992 - Pleaded guilty to DWI, received two years supervised probation, successfully completed in 1994.
- 1997 - Pleaded guilty to DWI as prior offender, received a suspended imposition of sentence placed on two years supervised probation, successfully completed.
- 1999 - Pleaded guilty to DWI as persistent offender, sentenced to five years in prison, received a suspended execution of sentence and placed on five years probation. His probation was revoked and he served five years in prison and was released in 2004.
- Refused breathalyzer tests during traffic stops in 1999, 2001, 2004 and 2011. Two charges were dismissed and he won judgment in 1999. In 2011, the court denied his driving privileges for denying the breathalyzer.
Eureka-Wildwood Patch Julie Brown Patton contributed to this article.