Investigators said they found puncture marks and bruising consistent with needle injections on the children’s bodies after they were removed from the home
Two parents have been accused of injecting their three young children with heroin to put them to sleep in a home filled with rat droppings and drug needles.
Ashlee Hutt, 24, and boyfriend Leroy McIver, 25, allegedly told the children – girls aged 2 and 4 and a boy aged 6 – that they were being injected with “sleeping juice” or “feel good medicine”.
Investigators said they found puncture marks and bruising consistent with needle injections on the children’s bodies after they were removed from the home.
Tests allegedly found low levels of what was believed to be heroin in two of the children, while the third child tested negative.
Hutt and McIver were arrested after someone called Child Protective Services claiming they saw her inject her children with a drug at her home in Spanaway in the US state of Washington, the TV station Kiro 7 reported.
Pierce County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Detective Ed Troyer said: “Some of the statements [the children] made were very disturbing about how they would get sleeping juice to go to sleep and it was injected into them by needle.”
The six-year-old boy told investigators “his mom and dad” gave him “feel good medicine” with a needle, a probable cause affidavit revealed.
The boy described the “medicine” as “a white powder which was mixed with water” and then injected into them.
After being injected the children would go to sleep, the affidavit stated.
The older boy also claimed he was injected after he was choked by McIver.
Investigators examined the children and observed marks, bruising and cuts on the younger girl’s body, indicative of heroin injection, the News Tribune reported.
Heroin was detected in the two-year-old girl after one of her hairs was tested.
Hutt and McIver were interviewed by CPS and admitted to being heroin addicts and talked about other people at their house using heroin, the News Tribune reported.
The children were removed from the home in November 2015 while child welfare officials investigated claims against the couple.
A neighbour told Kiro 7 the children are now in foster homes and “they’re doing well”.
After a lengthy investigation Hutt was arrested on October 28 and arraigned on Monday, while McIver was detained on September 2 on unrelated charges including theft and burglary.
Both have pleaded not guilty to three counts of second-degree child assault, unlawful delivery of a controlled substance to a person under 18, and second-degree criminal mistreatment.
They remain in custody at the Pierce County Jail. A trial has been set for December 20.
In July 2014 Hutt hailed the arrest of another Spanaway mother, Alyia Iverson, who was charged with first-degree manslaughter in the death of her two-year-old son, Nathan.
Nathan died of acute meth poisoning in front of his mother in December 2012 after ingesting methamphetamine and drinking bong water.
Toxicology reports stated he had enough meth in his system to kill an adult.
In posts on Facebook Hutt shared a link to a news story and wrote: “Finally justice for you, I remember taking you out for walks to get you out of your nasty crib, seeing you not wheeze because you finally had fresh air!
“Feed you your first jars of baby food. It’s heart breaking that you had to lose your life due to the state not listening. This never would’ve happened if you were with your father or family that actually cared for you.”
Last March Iverson, 27, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison.