Trick-or-treating turned into a Halloween nightmare for a 5-year-old boy in Galion, Ohio, who had a seizure and tested positive for methamphetamine, his parents said.
But now the boy’s father has been arrested, according to Galion police. Cambray Carwell, 24, faces charges of tampering with evidence and possession of drugs after police searched his apartment and after he tested positive for meth himself, WCMH reports.
The boy was hospitalized on Sunday night after he began shivering and was unable to move his arms and fingers, 10TV reports. Moments before the boy’s seizure-like symptoms cropped up, he had been playing with vampire teeth he got while trick-or-treating that afternoon during the town’s yearly Halloween event, WCMH reported earlier this week.
“He didn’t know where he was,” said the boy’s mother, Julia Pence, WSYX reported. “He didn’t know what he was doing.”
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The boy tested positive for meth at the hospital, and the story quickly caught attention locally and nationally. Galion police warned parents to “thoroughly check any candy your children may have received before they eat it.” The Washington Post wrote up the incident and included video from a local TV segment showing the ailing boy on a hospital bed.
Fears that Halloween candy could be hiding drugs and other dangers have spread across the country this year, as they have in the past. The Drug Enforcement Agency even advised parents to watch out for Halloween candy that could be spiked with marijuana and meth.
Critics say the fear is overblown, with Vox’s German Lopez writing that “researchers who have looked into scares about Halloween candy have found that they’re mostly hoaxes, with no evidence for the vast majority of scares.”
In an interview after the boy was hospitalized, Pence admitted that she and Carwell, the child’s father, had suffered from drug addiction — but Pence said both of them were in recovery, 10TV reported.
“I’m not covering up the truth,” Pence said, according to 10TV. “I’m just speaking the truth of what happened to my son, yesterday. Nobody in my family or [his] dad’s family would drug my children.”
Carwell’s arrest came after Galion police searched his home on Thursday and discovered marijuana, drug paraphernalia and what they suspected was meth, 10TV reports. Police said he tried destroying marijuana during the search, WSYX reports.
Police said the charges Carwell faces relate to the search and not to the meth in his child’s system, Crawford Source reports. Carwell is being held at the Crawford County Jail.
“Our detectives have worked extremely hard on this investigation,” Galion Police Chief Brian Saterfield said after the arrest was announced, WSYX reports.
Police posted about the scare twice on Facebook Oct. 28, the day the boy was hospitalized. One post, which asked parents to check for “anything has been tampered with,” was shared more than 1,000 times.
Saterfield suggested the new developments should ease concerns over meth-laced candy in the community.
“While we cannot definitively say how the little boy ingested methamphetamine, we are extremely confident that he did not ingest any candy from Trick or Treat that was tainted,” Saterfield said, according to WSYX. “The boy is home, has been attending school and has not shown any lingering effects from the drug.”
Police said the toy vampire teeth the boy had put in his mouth prior to his seizure didn’t show evidence of meth, WSYX reports.