Robert S. Trella, 41, and Brigitte M. McCarthy, 31, face two counts each of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child and possession of controlled dangerous substances, according to the office of Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato. Trella is also charged with evidence tampering.

Bail for both was set at $200,000 full, with a no-contact order attached.

Berkeley police originally responded to a report of a nine-year-old girl on a township street, searching for her sister. The toddler was found unresponsive in the pool nearby and pronounced dead at Community Medical Center in Toms River.

County investigators determined McCarthy to be the mother of the two girls and another sibling, and Trella the father of the two-year-old.

Authorities said that officers who entered their dwelling found marijuana and heroin. They allege that McCarthy told her nine-year-old to fetch a tin containing a substance they suspected to be heroin, in the presence of investigators. Trella is accused of trying to destroy marijuana in the house.

Witnesses reportedly told investigators of previous sightings of the two-year-old unsupervised in their neighborhood. Investigators determined that the nine-year-old assumed responsibility for her care.

The Prosecutor's Office advises that the charges are accusations at this point, and that both are presumed innocent unless proven otherwise.

The case remains open, and investigators seek more information if it is available. Reach either Berkeley Township PD, 732-341-6600, or the Prosecutor's Office, 732-929-2027.

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