Wednesday 26 September 2018

Young boy locked in closet tests positive for crystal meth exposure and tells police 'his friends' were rats and roaches

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Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A four-year-old boy who authorities believe was living in a closet at a Houston-area home has tested positive for methamphetamine exposure and told investigators "his friends" were rats and roaches, according to an attorney representing the child's interests.

A Harris County judge on Tuesday allowed child welfare officials to keep the boy in their temporary custody while the case remains under investigation.

Investigators are not sure how long the boy was living at the home when deputies showed up 20 December with a search warrant because they believed meth was being made and sold there.

Attorney Rachel Leal-Hudson told Houston TV station KTRK that the boy also told investigators he wasn't allowed out of the closet for hours at a time.

"His friends" were the "rats and roaches" that would visit him, Leal-Hudson said.

"He can articulate some things that are really shocking and surprising that tell us he was in there for a quite a length of time," she said. "The detail on this case is very awful. This is a 4-year-old child who has seen things an adult should not have seen."

She said the child talked of sneaking away from the closet and that his punishment was being forced to sit on top of a refrigerator where he was afraid he would fall after nodding off.

The boy's mother, April Burrier, wasn't present when the deputies showed up and was arrested later. She's facing a charge of endangering a child. She told authorities someone else was supposed to be taking care of her son but couldn't identify that person.

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