Portsmouth, Ohio, police say that a witness found a toddler unconscious on a sidewalk a little after midnight on Wednesday, apparently from a heroin overdose.
WSAZ reports that a “frantic” witness approached an officer and said that she found a toddler girl on a sidewalk, passed out from what seemed to be a drug overdose. She brought the little girl in her home, but the time police arrived, her toddler’s father, Jason Bolden, had arrived and in the process of taking her to the hospital. Authorities airlifted the 18-month-old to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.
By the time she arrived at the hospital, she was unconscious and having trouble breathing. The witness, Royal, a friend of the family, said the baby was turning blue when she found her.
Police found the baby’s mother, Brandy Estep, in her home, passed out from an apparent heroin overdose. She was rushed to the Southern Ohio Medical Center emergency room.
Royal indicated that she was concerned when she saw the toddler in distress, but Bolden said the child simply had too much sugar. He was likely afraid of being arrested if he took the little girl to the hospital, Royal surmised.
“He kept on saying it was her sugar. He knew.”
The toddler remains the in the hospital, but in “serious but guarded” condition. It’s not clear yet what she overdosed on, but authorities said Estep was given Narcan, an ” opiate antidote” that helps block opiods in the system.
Royal indicated that the suspects have an older child who somehow knew the parent’s drugs were missing. The toddler likely found heroin and ingested it by accident.
Both parents were later charged with child endangerment. Royal said the Estep was a great mother when sober, but when high, “one of the worst.”
“On a clean, sober day, you couldn’t ask for a better mother. But on getting high days, she’s one of the worst. And if she’s going to continue to get high, she doesn’t deserve her kids.”