A North Carolina couple was found to have allegedly passed out from a heroin overdose with their three-year-old child in the car, WNCT is reporting. Officers revealed that they were called to a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of a Goldsboro McDonald’s restaurant and found several open packages of what appeared to be heroin and several used syringes in the car.
Steven and Christine McCullen, ages 27 and 26 respectively were found around 7 a.m. after a concerned McDonald employee, Brianna Finchum called 911 as she got off work. The woman had told dispatchers that a car had been in the parking lot for over three hours and that the people inside the vehicle were non-responsive.
“There’s been a car out here for like three hours and we walked up to the window…you can tell they’re definitely on something…I think something’s really wrong ’cause we start just tapping on the window and the girl in the passenger’s seat—looked up—and then she like nodded right back down.”
When medical responders arrived on the scene, they rushed the overdose couple to the hospital. Doctors say Steven and Christine McCullen were lucky to be alive. The three-year-old was also taken to hospital and examined by doctors. Social services have taken custody of the child.
The McCullens have been arrested and charged with drug abuse, child abuse and drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. Steven McCullen has been hit with an additional charge of driving under the influence. His bail has been pinned at $12,000, while his wife Christine is being held on a $10,000 bond.
A woman who witnessed the incident expressed her concern over parents that continue to make bad decisions that could ultimately ruin their children lives.
“It’s really sad that people have children and they make decisions that affect the child for a lifetime…It’s completely selfish and I can’t stand it.”
Another woman, Ann Harris expressed her concern over parents misplacing their priorities.
“When you’re a parent, you’re supposed to put your kid first. They are your life and they are everything… that’s the way it should be.”
This latest incident is coming just days after Rhonda Pasek, 50, and her boyfriend, John Acord, 47 were sentenced for overdosing on heroin in Ohio in an SUV. Pasek’s four-year-old grandson was in the backseat of the Ford Explorer. Rhonda Pasek had just been given custody of the boy six weeks earlier.
The overdose couple had their photograph taken by East Liverpool police as a warning for people abusing drugs. Both are now in a county jail. Acord is serving two 180-day sentences while Pasek was sentenced to 180 days in jail.
Police say the heroin that Pasek and Acord were high on was cut with a deadly elephant tranquilizer found in the car. Police Chief John Lane confirmed that the pink sedative was carfentanil.
According to a CNN report, carfentanil is 10,000 times stronger than morphine and popular with heroin users because it stretches their supply and gives them the ultimate high. Carfentanil is not approved for human use and is used commercially only to sedate big animals. Around 2 milligrams can knock out a 2000-pound elephant.
A judge has given custody of the four-year-old boy to his great aunt and uncle, Lori and Terry Lane in South Carolina. However, the boy’s mother, Reva McCullough says she wants him back.
The 25-year-old woman, who is a stripper and works under the moniker, Mercedes revealed that she lost custody of her son because of her drug use in 2012 but now is drug free. McCullough had the boy with Pasek’s 25-year-old son, Devon. She has a third child with another man.
[Featured Image by Foto Maximum/iStock]