kids

The tragic twist behind the images of a little boy sat in a car with a couple overdosed on heroin.

The world was shocked earlier this week to see photos of a four-year-old boy in the backseat of an SUV, with two adults passed out in the front.

The photos were taken by police in East Liverpool, Ohio, after an officer noticed the car driving erratically and then drifting to a stop.

The couple in the front, who had injected heroin, were identified as Rhonda Pasek and James Acord.

Now the full story behind the images has emerged.

Pasek and Acord are not the boy’s parents. Pasek is the boy’s grandmother. She was granted custody of him just six weeks earlier.

The boy’s mother is Reva McCullough. The Daily Mail tracked her down, reporting she was “a stripper who admits she smoked crack”.

McCullough was distressed to see the photos of her son.

“I bawled for four days straight,” she said. “I want my boy back.”

The boy with his grandmother and her boyfriend. Image via Facebook/City of East Liverpool, Ohio.

The little boy has been the subject of custody battles almost from the time he was born.

McCullough's grandparents, Dick and Barbara McCullough, told a court their granddaughter was using drugs, specifically crack.

They claimed the boy's father, Devon Pasek, was involved in narcotics trafficking, although he's never been charged. They won full custody of the baby, despite being in their eighties.

But as they got older, the McCulloughs found they weren't physically capable of looking after their great-grandchild. They wanted their daughter and her husband, Lori and Terry Lane, to take him, but Rhonda Pasek fought for custody, and eventually won.

After Pasek was arrested, following the SUV incident, a judge ordered the boy should live with a 60-year-old neighbour, Gene Kuhn.

Kuhn immediately bought him two pairs of  shoes and a puppy, and enrolled him in school. But the boy had just a couple of days with Kuhn before being taken to live with the Lanes, who have now been granted custody of him.

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That poor, poor little boy.

We could do without the breathless reporting that the boy's mother is a stripper who dances under the name of Mercedes at a "gentleman's club" called Tiffany's Dolls. Who cares if she was wearing "nothing but heels, a minuscule G-string and a tiny black dress which didn't even skim her backside" when she spoke to the reporter? Who cares if "tattoos of a fish and a cowboy boot adorn her torso"?

Stripping is a legal occupation, and there's nothing wrong with a mother earning an income from it. The drug use is the only relevant thing here.

The sad thing is that this little boy was removed from his parents and he ended up in a situation just as bad, if not worse.

Another one of the shocking images. Image via Facebook/City of East Liverpool, Ohio.

People often say that you shouldn't have kids if you aren't prepared to look after them properly. Well, what's even more true is that you shouldn't fight for custody of kids if you aren't prepared to look after them properly.

Acord has told police that the reason he was driving the SUV was that he was taking Pasek to hospital. At least seven heroin overdoses and one death were reported in the small town of East Liverpool over the following five days.

But why would anyone with a child in their care be taking heroin in the first place?

I look at the image of the little boy, sitting in the backseat of the SUV. The people he trusted could have killed him because they were using heroin.

I just hope he's now in a stable, loving environment. I hope the people in his extended family can put his wellbeing first. I hope he doesn't remember what happened to him on that awful day when he was four years old. I hope he got to keep the puppy.

Tags: custody , drugs , heroin , overdose , parenting-2
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