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Christopher Marks' Stepfather Seeks Treatment While Court Hearing is Delayed

Todd Combs is the stepfather of Christopher Marks, the 12-year-old Affton boy who drowned in the Meramec River in August. Combs has been charged with seven counts of child endangerment.

A court hearing for the stepfather of Christopher Marks, the 12-year-old Affton boy who died in August, has been postponed while the man awaits treatment from a behavioral center, KSDK-TV reported on Friday.

In August, Christopher was found dead after drowning in the Meramec River during a group outing at Pacific Palisades Conservation Area near Eureka. It was later discovered that Todd Combs, who was Marks' stepfather, which included Marks and six teens, all 15 years old.

Combs, 42, of the 7800 block of LaBelle Street in Affton, was later charged with seven counts of endangering the welfare of a child, one count for each child that was present. 

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During a news conference in September, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said Todd Combs was not charged with a more serious crime because authorities were unable to prove the intoxication level in Marks' body. 

“The death of this child is clearly caused by the criminal conduct of this individual,” McCulloch said at the time. “But we can only charge what we can prove,” he said.

McCulloch said a manslaughter charge would have required prosecutors to prove the role alcohol played in Marks' death. That would be difficult without a blood-alcohol level, he said.

A hearing had been scheduled for Thursday, but will wait until next month while Combs receives treatment from the Hyland Behavior Health Center, KSDK reported

For more information about Christopher Marks on Eureka-Wildwood Patch, see the following articles:

  • Prosecutor: Christopher Marks' Death Caused by Stepfather's 'Criminal Conduct'
  • Stepfather of Drowned Christopher Marks Charged With Endangering Children
  • Christopher Marks' Mother Reacts to Son's Disappearance

Editors Julie Brown Patton, Joe Scott and Lindsay Toler contributed to this report. 

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