Parents plead not guilty in fatal child overdose case


The couple accused in the drug overdose of their 16-month-old daughter pleaded not guilty at their arraignment today in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on charges of child endangering and involuntary manslaughter.

Magistrate Dan Dascenzo deferred bonds for Joshua Essad, 32, and Sara Loth, 30, to the judge assigned to their case. They have been in the county jail since Feb. 26.

The couple were indicted Feb. Feb. 22 in the July death of their daughter, Isabelle Essad.

Essad died at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital. A coroner’s report completed in December said the child died of “carfentanil toxicity.”

Carfentanil is a synthetic opiate that is many times more powerful than heroin.

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