FESTUS, Mo. – Court records show a three-year-old tested positive for methamphetamine and was hospitalized for months after staying at their father’s home in Jefferson County. A police investigation at the home found meth mixed with candy in a bowl at the child’s level.
According to Det. Sgt. Lewis Pippin of the Festus Police Department, the Missouri Department of Social Services was notified after a child tested positive for meth at a hospital. The MDSS Children’s Division launched an investigation and visited the child’s father’s home, along with the Festus Police Department.
During the visit inside the father’s home, police said they found methamphetamine, mixed with candy, in a candy dish.
“Officers located a candy dish that had methamphetamine in it and candy around it, we believe that’s where the child may have gotten it,” Pippin said. “It’s an incredibly dangerous situation and it had disastrous consequences.”
According to the probable cause statement, the three-year-old child was hospitalized with kidney and liver issues, along with muscle deterioration. The child’s current condition is not known.
The probable cause statement was filed in October 2021, which stated the incident happened in April. According to the document, the child was still hospitalized at the time, which would mean the child had been hospitalized for at least five months.
“We respond to a lot of calls where there’s complaints there’s drugs around children,” Pippin said. “This is probably one of the more extreme cases because the child actually got a hold of the drugs and ingested it themselves.”
Police said there was a one-year-old child also in the home at the time but did not show signs that they had ingested the drug.
“lt should be noted that the child only stayed with Smith for one night and began to show symptoms on the same night he was with Smith,” the probable cause statement read.
Authorities said they tested the white substance with a device on-site, which preliminarily identified the substance as meth. They sent the white crystal substance to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Forensic Testing Laboratory for further review. On Sept. 23, 2021, the MSHP received the results that the substance was indeed meth.
The probable cause statement, which was filed after the forensic testing result, said the incident happened on April 18, 2021.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Sunday that the father, Malcolm Smith, is in custody at the Jefferson County Jail. Court records show Smith is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and one count of possession of a controlled substance.
Missouri court records show Smith’s arraignment is scheduled for August 3.