NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 12:45 PM
The Ohio boy left stranded in the backseat of an SUV while his grandma and her friend overdosed on heroin in the front is heading to a new home in South Carolina.
The tot’s grandmother — 50-year-old Rhonda Pasek, who was granted custody of the child just weeks before her arrest — pleaded not guilty to child endangerment changes and is still in jail awaiting trial.
She and her friend James Lee Acord, 47, were arrested last week when East Liverpool officers pulled over a Ford Explorer diving erratically.
The 4-year-old boy featured in heartbreaking photos showing his grandma and her friend overdosing on heroin has a new home.
(City of East Liverpool)
When the cops approached, Acord, in the driver’s seat, was barely conscious and muttering unintelligible words. Pasek was passed out and turning blue the passenger’s seat.
The blond boy sat silently in the back seat, and police snapped photos of the haunting scene as they waited for an ambulance to arrive.
Medics were able to revive both Pasek and Acord with Narcan, a medication that reverses the effects of an opiate overdose. Acord claimed he was trying to drive Pasek to the hospital, but began to lose consciousness himself on the way there.
Rhonda Pasek and James Acord were arrested after they overdosed on heroin in their car.
(Columbiana County Jail)
They were taken to the hospital — and then jail.
Acord immediately pleaded no contest to the charges against him — driving under the influence and endangering children — and is now serving 180 days in jail.
East Liverpool police posted the images from the scene and warn others about the dangers of heroin and other illegal drugs
Rhonda Pasek, 50, and James Lee Acord, 47, are seen passed out from an overdose of heroin.
(City of East Liverpool)
“We feel it necessary to show the other side of this horrible drug. We feel we need to be a voice for the children caught up in this horrible mess,” the department said in a Facebook post accompanying the shocking photos. “This child can’t speak for himself but we are hopeful his story can convince another user to think twice about injecting this poison while having a child in their custody.”
Pasek was granted custody just six weeks before her arrest, according to court records. The boy had been living with his dad, Pasek’s son, family members told NBC News.
“It’s the old story,” Pasek’s sister told NBC News, asking not to be identified. “No education. No jobs. My sister has fought for two years straight to get this child.”
Pasek’s sister, who lives in Delaware, has custody pf the 4-year-old’s little brother, who is 3. The family is outraged that their loved one’s worst moment has been so widely publicized.
“They could have blurred his face and they didn’t,” Pasek’s sister said of the united photo of the boy. “And now they’re taking him away from my sister. I’m not condoning what Rhonda done, but what they did to her and what they’re doing to her grandson is too much.”