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Mom of ‘Heroin Boy’ wants custody despite drug using past

September 15, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Mom of ‘Heroin Boy’ wants custody despite drug using past

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Mother of ‘Heroin Boy’ who was a crack smoking stripper wants custody

The stripper mom of  ‘Heroin Boy’ who became the face of the heroin epidemic that has spread across the country, has for the first time unveiled her distress at seeing the toddler looking out in a daze after police found the adults who were responsible for him slumped over unconscious in their car.

Reva McCullough, 25,  told the Daily Mail: “I bawled for four days straight… I want my boy back.”

The choice to publish whats being called the ‘Heroin Boy’ picture that shocked the entire world was made by three officials in East Liverpool, Ohio: Mayor Ryan Stovall, service-safety director Brian Allen, and police chief John Lane – all of whom firmly believe that they made the right decision.

“If we hadn’t, Rhonda Pasek would have received a slap on the wrist and that little boy would have gone back to her – that’s not going to happen now,” Allen said in an interview with the Daily Mail. “I doubt she will see that child again.”

On Monday, the four-year-old was placed his great aunt’s custody in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Reva McCullough, 25, said she wants her four-year-old son back after he was placed in the care of a great aunt in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Reva McCullough, 25, said she wants her four-year-old son back after he was placed in the care of a great aunt in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Law enforcement officials are trying to keep the toddler away from his paternal grandmother Rhonda Pasek, who was the woman shown passed out from an alleged heroin overdose in the front seat of her boyfriend’s vehicle.

Court documents indicate that the little boy has been shifted to and from warring family members since he was born.

His mother, who confessed that she did crack, lost custody of her son because of drug use back in December 2012, which was four and a half months before he was born.

The judge initially granted custody to his great grandparents, who are now in their mid-80s, but ongoing custody disputes have involved his birth parents, a grandmother, two great-aunts, and a friend across four different states.

McCullough, who works as a stripper, talked openly in an interview with the Daily Mail about her prior drug use that caused her to lose custody of two of her three children. The woman claims that she no longer drinks or does drugs.

Authorities are trying to keep the boy away from his paternal grandmother, Rhonda Pasek, who was pictured passed out from an apparent heroin overdose in the front passenger seat of her boyfriend's SUV while the boy sat in the back

Authorities are trying to keep the boy away from his paternal grandmother, Rhonda Pasek, who was pictured passed out from an apparent heroin overdose in the front passenger seat of her boyfriend’s SUV while the boy sat in the back

“Ironically I have never taken heroin,” she noted, but she indicated she had abused marijuana and crack cocaine for years.

“I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in my life,” she noted. “I just went wild when I was 18.”

The photo of her son, which was snapped by police officers in East Liverpool, Ohio, put a human face to the scourge of heroin that has been affecting America’s heartland.

Less than a week after the pictures were published, seven more heroin overdoses and one death occurred in the city.

During the same period, a dangerous batch of heroin led to the fatal overdoses of eight and hospitalized numerous more in Akron.

The viral photo shows the little boy staring into space in the backseat as his grandmother Rhonda Pasek and her boyfriend, Jim Acord, sit slumped over and lifeless in the front.

Acord told investigators that he was taking his girlfriend to the hospital at approximately 3 pm on September 7th. However, the car was seen driving carelessly by Kevin Thompson, an off-duty officer, who pulled the vehicle over.

Thompson indicated in his report that Acord’s head was reportedly “bobbing back and forth, his speech was unintelligible,”

Additionally, Acord tried to flee, but the off-duty cop reached into the car and grabbed the keys.

Thompson noted: “The driver eventually went completely unconscious. Rhonda Pasek was completely unconscious and turning blue.”

Although the grandparents had full custody, McCullough and Devon Pasek still were able to spend time with the child

Although the grandparents had full custody, McCullough and Devon Pasek still were able to spend time with the child

The 50-year-old grandmother is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, and Acord has been issued two consecutive terms of 180 days behind bars.

The decision to make the photograph public, showing the four-year-old’s face, has spurred controversy across the country.

Law enforcement officials maintain their decision, citing that it was important to let the world see his blank expression to represent the full horror of the heroin plague that has seized the country.

The little boy is one of two children that McCullough had with 25-year-old Devon Pasek, Rhonda Pasek’s son. She also has a third child with a different father.

According to court documents, the child was in his great-grandparents’ care, Dick and Barbara McCullough, from the beginning.

The two grandparents signed affidavits in December 2012, four months after he was born, indicating their granddaughter was “using illicit and illegal drugs and specifically crack cocaine (sic),” adding that they discovered foil with burnt residue on it in her bag.

McCullough and Pasek have two sons together. The boy pictured in the police photo was born in Delaware in August, 2012, but within days his parents moved back to Ohio

McCullough and Pasek have two sons together. The boy pictured in the police photo was born in Delaware in August, 2012, but within days his parents moved back to Ohio

They declared in the court papers that the boy’s dad “is involved in narcotics trafficking,” however, he was never charged.

The grandparents were granted full custody of the child despite their old age.

Back in 2013, Reva and Devon applied for custody, saying she “has a stable and happy home life to offer the child” and she and Pasek could provide “a healthy environment within which to raise a child.” Interestingly, they withdrew the paperwork soon after.

In August 2014, Barbara and Dick McCullough started to grow concerned about their capacity to take care of the child, and one report indicates that they were unable to lift him out of his crib.

They requested custody of the child given to their daughter and son-in-law, Lori and Terry Lane, who live in South Carolina.

Rhonda Pasek – the woman who was discovered out in the car – protested and requested custody because she was “financially, mentally and emotionally” able to care for him.

The case did not conclude until June 2015, when Rhonda Pasek was awarded partial custody. Within months, she was demanding contempt charges filed against the McCullough’s  for neglecting to turn over custody of  the child and “at one point sending the minor child out of state with unknown relatives.”

Rhonda Pasek was given full custody just over six weeks before the horrific events ensued.

Judge Thomas Baronzzi recognized in his decision that the McCulloughs were “critical of the lifestyle of Rhonda Pasek,” adding that the couple expressed “their belief that she continues to struggle with the abuse of alcohol.”

However, the judge noted that there was no proof that her drinking or her bipolar disorder impacted her ability to provide care for the child.

The judge specifically required that Devon Pasek is kept apart from his son “due to his ongoing involvement with drug abuse or drug sales.”

After Rhonda Pasek’s apprehension, a West Virginia judge decided that he should go to live with a neighbor, 60-year-old Gene Kuhn.

However, in Ohio, Judge Baronzzi was granting custody to Terry and Lori Lane in South Carolina.

Kuhn had guardianship of the boy just for the weekend, during which he bought him a puppy, two pairs of shoes, and took him to church. He even sent the child to school on Monday and was later told that the child’s removal would occur after two judges decided the process adhered to Ohio law

Gene Kuhn told the Daily Mail: “He was kidnapped from school.”

Kuhn said he was caring for the child only until he could be rejoined with his younger brother, who lives with Rhonda Pasek’s sister in Delaware, which currently seems unlikely.

The judge has scheduled an additional hearing for September 26th, requiring that Rhonda Pasek should have no communication with the child, at least until then.

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