US & Canada

Ohio boy in graphic heroin photo finds new home

City of East Liverpool Image copyright City of East Liverpool
Image caption Rhonda Pasek (L) and James Acord slumped in the vehicle

An Ohio boy found by police in the back of a car with his grandmother and her boyfriend slumped in the front from an overdose has found a new home.

The unnamed boy's great-uncle and great-aunt in South Carolina petitioned the court for custody, and the request was granted by a judge on Monday.

The grandmother, 50-year-old Rhonda Pasek, had been awarded custody of the boy only six weeks earlier.

She is being held on a child endangerment charge.

Columbia County Juvenile Court administrator Dane Walton said on Wednesday the judge's report showed there was "no evidence brought forward" that Ms Pasek had any drug issues at the time she was granted custody.

She and her partner were arrested last Wednesday by police in East Liverpool, Ohio.

Her boyfriend, James Acord, has admitted child endangerment and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Police said they took the decision to distribute the image of the couple unconscious in their Ford Explorer to illustrate the dangers of "the poison known as heroin".

But Ms Pasek's sister, who asked not to be identified, told NBC News the city officials had "humiliated" their family.

"They could have blurred his (the boy's) face and they didn't," she said.

"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."

The boy was initially identified by police as Ms Pasek's son. It is unclear what happened to his mother.


More on Ohio's heroin problem

Smack in the suburbs

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionMason Butler talks about starting detox for the seventh time
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionJim Larkin from the Lorain County Drug Task Force

Related Topics