Did Alcohol Play Role in Christopher Marks' Death?

Patch investigates the potential alcohol-related piece of the puzzle behind the death of Affton 12-year-old Christopher Marks.

Fragments of information flew rapidly this week, sometimes in conflicting ways, once family members and friends of Christopher Marks tried to think of every way possible to locate him after the 12-year-old went missing Sunday evening at a conservation area in Pacific.

But so far, no official police reports have been released regarding the potential alcohol-related piece of the Christopher Marks' puzzle.

Police did confirm on Tuesday they were aware of present with Marks' stepfather, Todd Combs, on Sunday at the Meramec River bank.

Mentions by Marks' 15-year-old sister, Katie, about Christopher "sipping beer" Sunday night turned into more serious considerations as the days passed, and it was revealed the group may have had more to drink than beer, and may have been more than a little tipsy.

A KMOV-TV Channel 4 news crew reported they were told by employees of the at the Allenton/Six Flags St. Louis intersection that four detectives obtained a video recorded Sunday evening that shows a family member of Marks buying beer there.

Patch also was told Monday by police that surveillance tapes from the same gas station were secured, but attempts with officers to pinpoint the timing of the station purchase were not able to be answered.

Katie Marks was filmed saying to KMOV broadcaster Emily Rau that one drink of beer was not going to get someone drunk, and that Christopher only said he "felt sort of hyper and wanted to go jump off the swing."

The body of Christopher Marks eventually was found between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday night at the Allenton boat ramp access, about six miles east of where Christopher was last seen, according to St. Louis County Police Officer Justin Sparks. This location of the body surprised the professional searchers and law enforcers working on the case.

, many St. Louis area residents have raised questions about potential charges against Combs for known and verified underage drinking.

Missouri's alcohol laws are among the most permissive in the United States, often being compared to Nevada's and Louisiana's laws. However, a Minor in Possession—or MIP—(also referred to as a PAULA, Possession of Alcohol Under the Legal Age) is a criminal offense, typically a misdemeanor, for anyone younger than 21 years. Anyone who is under the age of 21 and possesses alcohol in the United States, with the exception of special circumstances, is violating the law.

jojo August 14, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Wouldn't the responsibility for the MIP's also relate back to the adults present? After all, didn't an adult have to purchase the alcohol? Suspicious also is the family's leaving the scene of his missing possibly indicating the other underage members and possibly adults were too intoxicated to call police fearing arrests? Yes, it is all a tragedy that could have been avoided. I would NEVER go home without my child! Something is rotten in Denmark!
Alexandria Hamilton August 14, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Hi JoJo, Great point about the family leaving the scene. I would never leave a child behind without someone (professional search and rescue) out looking for him if I needed more family there to help in the search. Even the authorities were amazed at how far down the river the body was - not even a storm from the day before would have made the current speed up that much after such severe drought this year. It is all "rotten in Denmark!"
Candy Baker August 15, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Hellloooo, you don't leave an abusive alcoholic person unattended around children!!!!
Candy Baker August 15, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Try to look him up on MO Casenet Ken. Would you happen to know his middle initial or name? There are alot of Todd Combs middle name "David" listed on Casenet.
Lisa Miskimon August 15, 2012 at 11:28 PM
I believe our family has endured enough. I'm appalled at the audasity of people who claim to be an insider to this family. Sir, we don't know who you are and my question to you would be this: if you were aware of all the abuse in this family, how many times did you try to personally stop the craziness? We are patiently awaiting the results of the investigation, I would like to suggest you do the same. We have to continue with our lives after suffering a great loss to this family. So, unless you tried to be a part of the solution, please refrain your comments publically. I have grandchilren who still need their education and right or wrong this is humiliation for these kids. BTW why don't you tell us who you really are, Chris's mother has no idea who you are
Ken Jones August 16, 2012 at 03:48 PM
I'm sorry Lisa, I don't know the family directly and guess you do? I was just reporting the facts as I knew them and did delete that post because I don't know the details. I just can't understand why the mom allowed her kids to go on an outing with someone who seems to have a problem with alcohol and was the only adult, who was driving without a license? Where was the mom and why did she allow that trip with nothing but minors and let him buy lots of alcohol for him and the minors. Lots of questions with no answers? Sorry for the loss of Chris.
Ken Jones August 16, 2012 at 03:51 PM
I'm sorry for the other kids and hope they are ok with school starting soon for most schools.
Elizabeth Combs August 21, 2012 at 05:41 AM
Lots of questions, huh Ken? Trying being his Mother, his sister, his uncle, his aunt. If you didn't catch my other post, I am allergic to sunlight. I'm sorry, but the public isn't living through this, we are, and all these stupid posts are effecting my entire family including losing income. Forgive me if I seem short, but the public doesn't need to know a damn thing. This is not all your lives or your son. Just shut up already...
An Acquaintance August 21, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Today I had a friend who pointed out these blogs to me and I am horrified at some of the comments on several of these articles. Who is anyone to be judge and jury at this stage of the investigation or even after the investigation? What is wrong with society? Why are people driven to make others suffer like this? This is what is wrong with news today...these stories are not to be public and go beyond the act of privacy. Leave this family alone you vultures. Let the family grieve in peace and remember this beautiful child without all of these negative comments. This is not acceptable, don't you all realize the agony of losing a child? Or do you just reserve the right to base judgment on this family and anyone else out there that you deem is doing something wrong? I have only met the family once or twice and yes every family has good days and bad days. But, what about these "poster" families where either parent leads a stellar 9 to 5 job and one day they go home and murder their family? Go dwell on that drama and let this family remember their child, brother, friend, classmate. Everyone who is judging should open their doors to the public eye and see what opinions come out then. We all know that everyone has an opinon and most opinions are rotten when they hurt people. Peace and sincere grievances to the family. This is your private matter and doesn't need to be broadcasted all over the internet and news.
jojo August 21, 2012 at 10:32 PM
This is a blog for the public. If you can't stand the truth then don't read it. We must all take responsibility for our actions even if our actions have hurt our loved ones. A child has died...something other than grief has to be learned from this situation.
An Acquaintance August 22, 2012 at 12:05 AM
The truth? What do you know of the truth? Were you there? If so, why didn't you do something to stop what was happening? If you weren't then you don't know the truth. Nobody should throw an opinion out there until all of the facts are in about what happened. Speculating is throwing out opinions not throwing out facts. If you doubt this then go back to elementary school. That is where I learned what speculation means and that is what you all are doing on here. This is also disgusting to do to the children who are still here. How do you think they feel? They are KIDS. You are truly pathetic to spew hatred in a PUBLIC blog.
An Acquaintance August 22, 2012 at 03:52 PM
This is the type of ignorance that enables public violence and public hatred towards others (rightly called discrimination). Stop putting your opinions on a blog that could affect how the children are affected at school, as we all know children can be cruel to each other. You do not have all of the facts in this case unless you are part of the family. ARE YOU WANTING TO ENABLE PUBLIC HATRED TO THIS FAMILY? If not, then stop this public stoning of the family until all investigations are done. I would urge the editor to take this blog down and any other blogs that let people try to sway public opinions of the family as it could lead to worse behavior towards the family.
An Acquaintance August 23, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Dear JoJo, Yes this family needs help. But you are not the correct person to provide the help at this time. Let people form their own opinions from what is reported in the news. Don't keep on with a conversation that can spark anger in many parents. You do not know all of the facts as you are not part of the family. Show some respect at a time like this. They just lost a child and here you want to put more negativity on this family? That doesn't show much character. If the authorities felt that the children were in immediate danger, they would have been removed from the home. I too feel there are red flags, but I am not the expert to step in and make any decisions. That is for the authorities to do and a court of law to judge. NOT YOU. Unless you profess to be part of the judicial system?
Jessie August 25, 2012 at 01:43 AM
If you have no business with this family go away. I honestly find it funny that all these people have different opinions (some hurtful and some not) yet they dont know anything but what they hear on the news. the news LIES. If your stupid enough to believe it that is your own problem, but dont sit here and make it harder for the family that has to go through this crisis. You should not point fingers without the right information to do so. In conclusion, leave if you dont have anything but polite things to say. Thanks and have a great day(:
Ken Jones August 25, 2012 at 03:04 AM
I wish this blog would be closed.
jojo August 28, 2012 at 06:50 AM
It is the duty of the press to investigate and report.
Jacqueline Harrison August 28, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Why oh why did I scroll down into these comments..AGAIN IGNORANT FUCKING PEOPLE...WTF....CLOSE THIS BLOG!! Duty of the press...this is not the duty!!
Elizabeth Combs August 28, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Thank you for all the defense on these blogs to those that REALLY know me. My family and I appreciate that at least you are trying to respect my family and my son but it just isn't worth the energy to fight against those who believe they can throw stones especially those who can't even use thier real name and hide behind a keyboard. Opinions are like *$$holes, everybody has one...and trust when I say I have things in the works.
Jacqueline Harrison August 28, 2012 at 06:54 PM
You are very welcome, I know you are a good mom and so true about opinions...I think about how happy your son was which comes from Love from his mom and family, still very sad for you and your family. F**K these idiotic morons who are judging...AND I have lots of energy.


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