A mother is facing several charges after a police investigation led authorities to suspect that she was giving drugs to her 2-year-old and encouraging the child to use the substances.
In mid-January, authorities received a tip from a person reporting that they allegedly knew of a woman who was exposing her baby to methamphetamines and marijuana. It was also reported that the woman, identified as 20-year-old Kaitlyn Ecker, was permitting the child to partake in use of the illicit substances.
The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Department’s Persons Crimes Unit of the Criminal Investigations Division began looking into the claim and spoke with people who had been in contact and proximity of Ecker. During their statements, several of them confirmed that Ecker allegedly gave the child drugs and that she was even known to joke that the toddler was able to “roll joints.”
One week after the investigation was launched Ecker was served a search warrant granting permission for the search of her residence. Detectives reportedly discovered paraphernalia that appeared to have been previously used and a small amount of cannabis in a bag when they searched inside of a basket that held toys.
When the items found in the basket were field tested they reportedly confirmed that methamphetamine and marijuana had been consumed through the objects and they took Ecker into custody on suspicion of possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Ecker stated that she was a current marijuana user but that she had not used methamphetamines for four months, and that the apparatus containing its remnants did not belong to her.
Ecker further declared that she had never used drugs in front of the toddler and that the child was not physically around the substances at any time.
Investigators were granted permission to obtain blood and hair samples from both Ecker and the child in order to test for the presence of illicit substances.
Testing the hair provides a record of substances present in one’s blood for at least one month prior to administration. On March 15 when they received and reviewed the results of the child sample authorities believed that the child had been regularly and directly in contact with methamphetamines for a long enough period of time to establish what they described as “chronic,” which suggests habitual use.
Ecker was taken into custody on April 12 and booked into the Wakulla County Jail where she is facing charges of child abuse. She is additionally being charged with lewd and lascivious battery and transmission of harmful material to a minor from a separate investigation.
If you or someone you love is suspected of child abuse, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.