Florida couple charged after 21-month-old boy overdoses on cocaine

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According to Fox news

A Florida couple was charged this week with child neglect after authorities found a 21-month-old boy in their care had consumed cocaine and overdosed earlier this year.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said that deputies responded to a 911 call from a Venice home on Jan. 8 shortly before 5:00 p.m. and found the boy unconscious and not breathing.

The officers assisted the Sarasota County Fire Department at the scene.

According to the sheriff’s office, 33-year-old Kaitlyn Van Dorn said that the boy had picked up an unknown object from the ground and put it in his mouth before stumbling, becoming limp and losing consciousness.

“When we get there, the female defendant who’s in the home says, ‘He put something in his mouth while we were on a walk, I don’t know what it was,’” Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office community affairs director Kaitlyn Perez told Fox News. “The area is kind of known for narcotics use, so EMF decided to deploy Naloxone three times on the little boy. And, thank God that they did because he regained full consciousness, was awake and really, really alert.”

Naloxone is designed to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

The child was then taken to the hospital for further tests.

Van Dorn also said that the boy was picking up rocks using a teal bucket and may have picked up a needle cap that she had “swatted out of his mouth,” although deputies were unable to find the drug paraphernalia.

Upon returning to the home, Van Dorn located the bucket behind a closed door and deputies found a silver spoon and tissue inside. The spoon later tested positive for both cocaine and fentanyl.

Van Dorn’s partner, 34-year-old Blake Pavey, said that he had been sleeping and did not go on a walk with Van Dorn and the boy, but supported his partner’s story.

“He corroborates her story and says, ‘Yeah, I saw her run through into the house, the baby unconscious, she threw the bucket down by the door and called 911.’ So, he kind of corroborate the story,” Perez said.

The relationship between the child and the pair was not released by authorities due to legal constraints.

“Then, we looked through video at different houses and businesses nearby to see what time she went on the walk. Did we see where the child picked something up? None of it ever happened. She never went on a walk. We’re 100% certain on that,” she said. “So, we’re confident that he ingested the cocaine inside the house at some point.”

Perez said that she does not know if the incident was intentional.

Partnering with Florida’s Department of Children and Families, detectives from the sheriff’s office launched an investigation into the incident and – after subpoenaing medical records from the hospital – confirmed that the child had overdosed on cocaine.

Perez said it took four months – a “frustrating amount of time” – to receive the toxicology report.

A warrant was issued for Van Dorn and Pavey’s arrest in May, but it took about a month to locate them.

The child has not been in the care of either Van Dorn or Pavey since January and the pair were arrested on Saturday.

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