15-month-old in Santa Cruz ingests methamphetamine

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

SANTA CRUZ — Police say they're still investigating how a 15-month-old ingested methamphetamine after finding no signs of drug use in the Grant Street apartment where the toddler lives.

The investigation began after the toddler began acting out of character Monday night, and the boy's 31-year-old mother took him to the hospital, Capt. Steve Clark said.

Hospital officials called police about 11 p.m. and said the toddler had tested positive for methamphetamine, Clark said.

There was no sign the mother was under the influence of drugs that night, Clark added, and she was cooperative when police later searched the home.

Clark said the child, who is in the custody of Child Protective Services, has fully recovered. He said investigators presume the child ate the drug, though it was unclear how much was ingested.

Wednesday, detectives were seeking to interview the child's 28-year-old father, who is "estranged" from the boy's mother but sometimes stays at the apartment, Clark said.

No arrests have been made, and police are not releasing the parents' names. "It's an active investigation," Clark said.

He noted that removing the child from his parents is a weighty issue. "Yet any time you have a child who accesses illegal drugs in the home, it's a gross case of irresponsible parenting."

Judy Yokel, county director of Family and Children's Services, said this type of incident is "extremely rare and very alarming."

Yokel stressed she was speaking in general about parental drug use and is prohibited from confirming that Child Protective Services has the toddler who lived on Grant Street.

Such a case would fall under the "general neglect" category, she said.



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