An Ohio mother and grandma have been charged with child endangerment after overdosing on heroin while their 9-month-old baby boy sat unattended and crying nearby in a portable playpen. 19-year-old Tonya Foster and her mother, 48-year-old Tammy Foster, of Warren pleaded not guilty to the charges in court Thursday.
A woman the Fosters were staying with called authorities on the afternoon of March 31, saying the mother and daughter were lying unresponsive on her floor after snorting heroin in a basement bathroom. “I smacked her in the face, but they won’t wake up,” the woman told a 911 operator call, according to WKBN. She said Tammy was foaming at the mouth and that both women had very shallow breathing and blue lips. After arriving on the scene, officers said they found Tonya’s distressed baby boy in a Pack ‘n Play, looking on helplessly as his mother and grandmother overdosed on the drug, which continues to lay waste to America’s heartland.
Warren Police Capt. Robert Massucci said “As a caregiver for the child, you have a duty to take care of the kid and you know, obviously, if you’re overdosing, you’re unable to do that, so therein lies the problem.” Speaking to the midwest heroin epidemic, he added, “That actually kind of shows you the spectrum of people, you know, young and old that are both doing it.”
The pair were eventually revived and taken to the hospital. Following an investigation into the incident, they were arrested and are currently being held in Trumbull County Jail. Police say the baby boy was unharmed and is currently in the custody of other family members.
[Photo: Trumbull County Police]