Around 3:15 a.m., Deputy Lewis noticed a car in the Circle K parking lot (2095 E. New York Ave., DeLand) sitting with its driver door open. Inside, a male driver and female front-seat passenger were unconscious. The windows on the vehicle were fogged up, indicating the vehicle had been sitting for an extended amount of time. Upon further observation, Deputy Lewis observed an infant child (approximately 8 months old) asleep in a car seat in the rear middle passenger seat. Deputy Lewis observed the child to be sweating profusely.
Deputy Lewis woke both adults. While speaking with them, the baby began crying. It became apparent the infant had not had her diaper changed in some time as the diaper was saturated with fluids and leaking from the diaper edges around the legs. The diaper had been leaking for an extended period which was evident by the infant car seat also being saturated with fluids from the baby's diaper. The appearance of the baby was dirty and it appeared the baby had not been bathed in some time. The baby appeared to be hungry. The baby cried and reached for an empty bottle when she saw it.
The adult female passenger appeared confused and could not identify where she was located. She had difficulty spelling her name due to her level of impairment. She was placed under arrest for child neglect. A search revealed a clear plastic baggie with white residue in her left front pocket. Deputy Lewis tested the residue in the baggie utilizing a NARK #22 test kit, which yielded a presumptive positive for the presence of opiates. The defendant was subsequently charged with possession of opiates and later transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail.
Because the male driver had full control of the vehicle and the key in the ignition, Deputy Lewis placed him under arrest for driving while license suspended. As he exited the vehicle, deputies observed track marks on this inner arms indicating intravenous drug use. A search revealed a spent syringe in his left front pocket. Deputy Lewis tested the syringe utilizing a NARK #22 test kit, which yielded a presumptive positive for the presence of opiates. He was subsequently charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and later transported to the jail.
The child was placed into the care of the Department of Children and Families.
The opioid epidemic touches innocent lives every day.