Breaking News Blog

Friday, Aug 17 2012 07:52 PM

Toddler tests positive for meth

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Taft police are searching for the mother of a toddler who tested positive for methamphetamine after she was taken to a Bakersfield hospital with seizure-like symptoms Wednesday.

Taft Police Lt. Peter Aranda said the 2-year-old girl was taken to Mercy Southwest Hospital via ambulance at about 2:30 p.m. after her breathing became shallow and her father called 911.

Hospital staff ran a battery of tests on the child, "one of which was a urine sample which came back positive for methamphetamine," Aranda said.

"We have a 2-year-old that is an innocent victim here and we don't know the amount (of meth) that was ingested," the lieutenant said Friday. "It's obviously pretty serious."

Police are looking for Gina Barrios, the girl's mother, who was last seen a few hours before her daughter started showing symptoms.

Child Protective Services contacted police Wednesday to check on the welfare of the other children at the girl's home. Police went to the house in the 300 block of Woodrow Street in Taft. The girl's family had been staying there for several days after they were displaced from their home because it didn't have power or water, Aranda said.

The homeowners gave police permission to search the home for narcotics. Officers reported that the house was clean and that they didn't find any signs of drug paraphernalia or recent drug use, Aranda said. The residents were evaluated and officers determined they were not under the influence.

Officers contacted the girl's father at the hospital, evaluated him and also found he was not under the influence.

"Nobody saw the child ingest -- or anyone offer or provide her with -- the substance that she wound up with in her system," Aranda said.

Barrios was at the home that morning but left sometime before the girl started having seizure-like symptoms, police said.

The girl's siblings, who have different fathers, were retrieved by grandparents, Aranda said. He said the girl was still being treated in Bakersfield Friday.

Police ask that anyone with information about the child's mother call the Taft Police Department at 763-3101.

-- Californian reporter Rachel Cook

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