Ashley Estepp, a 23-year-old mom who lives in Palm Coast, Florida, found herself under arrest on September 17, nearly four months after she showed up at a hospital emergency room with her 21-month-old son, telling doctors that the toddler had taken one of her prescription pain pills, according to a report by the FlaglerLive.com local news site for Flagler County.
Estepp told the medical staff that she feared the little boy had ingested a Dilaudid pill, a powerful, narcotic opioid pain relief medicine whose generic name is hydromorphone. But when doctors tested the boy, they discovered that his system showed that he had recently ingested or been exposed to the illegal drug cocaine.
When police showed up to Florida Hospital Flagler on May 20, the mom denied that she had used cocaine, but under further questioning and testing, her initial denials turned out to be untrue. Estepp told investigators that she had smoked crack cocaine with her mother five days earlier. And when Estepp herself was tested for drugs, her tests came back positive for cocaine, as well as methadone — an opioid often used to treat the symptoms associated with withdrawal from heroin addiction.
Estepp admitted to police that she was a drug addict, and termed heroin her “drug of choice” according to an arrest report cited by FlaglerLive.com.
According to a report by WJXT TV News in Jacksonville, Florida, on June 12 the Florida Department of Children and Families showed up unannounced at Estepp’s home and tested her for drugs. At that time, those tests came back positive for marijuana, amphetamines and methadone as well as benzodiazepines, a prescription drug used to treat anxiety and panic disorder, as well as the symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol addiction.
Palm Coast is located in the northern part of the state, about one hour’s drive south of Jacksonville.
According to the FlaglerLive.com report, Estepp had been in a drug rehabilitation program named WARM — Women Assisting Recovering Mothers — at Vince Carter Sanctuary in Bunnell, Florida. But she left the program without completing her rehabilitation stint.
According to police, Estepp was then “unable to be contacted” until recently. However, her Facebook page shows that she continued to post regularly with her latest post dated September 17, just one day before her arrest.
Estepp had recently been living with her son in a room at her mother’s home, according to the FlaglerLive.com report. But Estepp’s mother denied that the two had smoked crack cocaine together. Estepp was released from Flagler County Jail on $5,000 bond, and now faces a third-degree felony charge of child neglect.
[Featured Image by Flagler County Jail]