The mother of a little boy who became the face of the US heroin crisis has spoken about her anguish in seeing her son witnessing his carers slumped unconscious in a car.
Reva McCullough, 25, told the Daily Mail she cried for four days straight when she heard about the photos, she also wanted her son to be returned to her.
City officials in Ohio made the decision to release the unedited picture, which shocked the world.
Ms McCullough’s little boy, 4, is now being cared for by his aunt in South Carolina.
His paternal grandmother Rhonda Pasek, the woman pictured passed out from an apparent heroin overdose, has been prevented from seeing him since the photo was released.
The photo put a human face to the heroin crisis that has gripped America for decades.
City of East Liverpool Police shared, “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. 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.
We are well aware that some may be offended by these images and for that we are truly sorry, but it is time that the non drug using public sees what we are now dealing with on a daily basis. The poison known as heroin has taken a strong grip on many communities not just ours, the difference is we are willing to fight this problem until it’s gone and if that means we offend a few people along the way we are prepared to deal with that.”
Their post was shared over 28,000 times.
The Mail claimed Ms McCullough was working at a gentleman’s club called Tiffany’s Dolls in Ohio, where she is reportedly a dancer known as Mercedes.
She told the Mail she “didn’t even know” that her son had been sent to live with her aunt.
She claimed she didn’t take drugs any more, had never taken heroin and admitted to abusing crack cocaine and cannabis “for year”.
“I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in my life,” she said “I just went wild when I was 18.”
When police found the car Accord’s head was “bobbing back and forth, his speech was unintelligible” according to the police report. Accord also was noted as having “pin point pupils”.
Accord eventually went completely unconscious and Pasek was found completely unconscious and turning blue, according to police.
Pasek is due to face court this week. Acord has been sentenced to two terms of 180 days in jail.
Local police have defended releasing the confronting photo, saying it was necessary to let everyone see the boy’s expression, to depict the horror of the heroin epidemic.
Court documents reportedly showed Ms McCullough lost custody of her child after being found to be “using illicit and illegal drug” specifically crack cocaine.
Court papers obtained by DailyMail.com show the boy has been tossed around among relatives since birth.
McCullough, who admitted she did crack, lost custody of the boy in December 2012 about four and a half months before he was born because of her drug use. The judge originally gave custody to his great grandparents, now in their mid-80s, but custody battles have involved his birth parents, a grandmother, a friend and two great aunts, living in a total of four different states.
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