SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Florida couple has been charged with child neglect after their 21-month-old consumed cocaine.
Arrest warrants were issued this week for Kaitlyn Van Dorn, 33, and her partner, Blake Pavey, 34, in connection with a Jan. 8 incident involving a child not breathing.
When first responders arrived, Van Dorn told Sarasota County sheriff’s deputies that while on a neighborhood walk, the child picked up an unknown object from the ground and put it in his mouth. The child then began stumbling and became limp before losing consciousness.
Emergency medical personnel administered three doses of Naloxone, a medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. The child quickly regained consciousness and became alert. The child was taken to the hospital for testing.
Van Dorn told deputies the child was picking up rocks around the neighborhood using a teal bucket. She said the child may have picked up a needle cap along the route that she swatted out of his mouth.
Deputies returned to Van Dorn’s home, where she found the bucket behind a closed door. Inside the bucket was a silver spoon and a used tissue, both items consistent with the ingestion of drugs.
Later that evening, the Florida Department of Children and Families visited the home with deputies and found a crack pipe. The spoon tested positive for cocaine and Fentanyl, while the pipe tested positive for cocaine.
Van Dorn’s partner, Pavey, told deputies he did not accompany Van Dorn on the walk but supported her story that the child must have ingested something in the neighborhood.
Detectives launched an investigation, and after several months of trying to obtain hospital medical records related to the child’s toxicity levels, they confirmed the child had overdosed on cocaine.
“We were unable to recover any sign of a walk even taking place. So based on our investigation, we believe strongly that the child ingested those narcotics inside the home,” said SCSO spokesperson Kaitlyn Perez.
The child has not been in the care of either parent since January.
Pavey told WFLA that it was “a horrible accident,” but he would not go into detail about how the child ingested the drugs.
Both Van Dorn and Pavey were taken into custody Saturday.
“My heart breaks for that child,” said Perez. “Our detectives see things like this all the time, but it is particularly difficult when it involves a child — an innocent, helpless child who should not be in the environment that he has been forced to be in.”
Pavey was released on a $15,000 bond, while Van Dorn remains in custody without bond, related to a charge for violating drug offender probation.