Toddlers were in room with heroin smokers, police say

TULALIP — Two toddlers were taken into protective custody on Thursday night after Tulalip police found them sleeping in a room where people allegedly were smoking heroin.

A woman, 23, and a man, 31, were being held Friday at the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of second-degree criminal mistreatment, possessing a controlled substance and possessing drug paraphernalia.

Tulalip officers reportedly found heroin residue and holes burned in the blankets the children were sleeping under, in addition to tinfoil, used syringes and dirty cotton balls within the children’s reach, according to a probable cause affidavit. Court papers do not say whether the people arrested were the children’s parents.

Officers already were familiar with the pair and their address off of 27th Avenue NE, according to the affidavit. Tribal police went to the home Thursday night because the woman had a warrant for her arrest related to a previous drug case.

From outside the house, police could see people smoking heroin indoors, the report says. Officers stood on the front porch and arrested the woman and man as they came outside. Officers then obtained permission to search the house. They found a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old sleeping on a mattress in the room where people allegedly were using heroin. The mattress had not been visible from outside, the report says.

Police called Child Protective Services. The investigation was ongoing Friday, said interim Tulalip Tribal Police Chief Carlos Echevarria.

Under state law, people can be convicted of second-degree criminal mistreatment, a felony, if they recklessly create a risk of death or serious injury to children or other dependents in their care.

A Tulalip toddler died last year and her 3-year-old sister was in critical condition after authorities found them inside a car parked on the reservation. Federal prosecutors allege that their mother, Christina Carlson, smoked heroin in the car while the children were in the backseat. Chantel Craig died from neglect. She was malnourished and covered in sores, feces and maggots. Carlson is charged in federal court.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449, rking@heraldnet.com.

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