Authorities are pressing child abuse charges against a Las Cruces, New Mexico, mother after it was revealed her 9-year-old son tested positive for cocaine.
Police say they were tipped off that Mary Lou Barela, 31, was using social media to "solicit herself" and could be found in a park with her children, KFOX reports.
After authorities went to the park to investigate, Barela initially said her social media accounts had been hacked and denied any wrongdoing.
Yet she eventually confessed to using cocaine a few days prior. Police grew worried for her children, ages 6, 9 and 11, when Barela couldn't tell authorities where they were while she was intoxicated.
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"Secondary exposure to drugs hinders a child's brain development and they will manifest in learning disabilities and they have problems regulating their own behavior because they’ve had this early exposure to drugs,” explained Donna Richmond, executive director of La Pinon, an assault recovery services provider.
Later, authorities forced Barela and her children to take drug tests. When they found cocaine in the 9-year-old's system, the mother was sent to county jail on a $1,000 bond with further charges pending.
Yet Barela is only one of many parents whose children have been drugged.
Former Arizona TV reporters Krystin Rae Lisaius, 26, and husband Somchai Lisaius, 42, managed to avoid spending time in jail after cocaine was found in their baby's system, according to News.com.au.
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The baby was rushed to the hospital on May 15 after her eyes began “rolling into the back of the head.”
While there, the couple initially denied using any drugs before tests caught their lie.
“It should be noted that at no time according to the report did either parent tell the hospital staff about the mother’s cocaine use the night before and Krystin continued to breast feed while at the hospital,” one detective wrote in a report.
Lisaius later admitted she had taken cocaine 12 hours before breastfeeding her child. She said she had no idea the drug was still in her system by that point.
While the Lisaiuses were charged with child endangerment, they were later placed on one year of probation. The baby was then placed under the care of her maternal grandmother.