Update: The suspect has surrendered to police and has been charged with four felony counts. Read more for details.
All she wanted was a soda. Now she’s fighting for her life.
An 11-year-old girl from Alabama is in critical condition after drinking acid police say was contained in a bottle of Sprite. Investigators believe the child’s 42-year-old cousin was operating a “shake and bake” meth lab in a trailer on the family’s property.
The girl was playing Monday afternoon, noticed the bottle and took a sip of the toxic solution. Detective Charles Plitt of the Weaver Police Department tells us it's one of the worst cases he’s ever seen.
Bathtub crank, pink elephants, soap dope, sparkle and trash: these are just some of the dozens of street terms for methamphetamine. It is a potent drug and a very popular one. A 2004 government survey reported nearly 12-million Americans snort, smoke, shoot up, or swallow the stimulant.
Kids are also getting hooked at a staggering rate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2005 found 6.2% of high school students said they had used meth. Just think of the numbers.
The rush is immediate and the high often lasts for hours. But the cost is usually catastrophic. Lives are destroyed, or lost. This “poor man’s cocaine” has been shown to cause psychosis, paranoia, high fevers, strokes, permanent brain damage, and heart attacks.
There are many different “recipes” to make meth. And many places to cook it up. Clandestine labs dot the country. In 2007, the Drug and Enforcement Agency listed nearly 6,000 methamphetamine laboratory incidents. Missouri recorded the most incidents – 1,268 in 2007. But the homegrown drug factories are hard to detect.
Sometimes, it takes a horrific tragedy to uncover them. Such is the sad case out of Weaver.
The girl who drank the acid is in the hospital. The family hopes she survives. “If she lives,” the Anniston Star newspaper says, “she will spend the rest of her life with an IV or feeding tube.” Police say her cousin,
Wayne Thurman Tubbs, was running at least 6 meth labs. After surrendering to police Thursday night, he was charged with four felonies: two counts of unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance, chemical endangerment of a child, and assault in the first degree.
Tubbs had not pled in the case as of Friday evening, police said. He was being held without the option of bail until a March 30 preliminary hearing.
Detective Plitt says Tubbs, the girl's 42-year-old cousin, appeared upset that about the girl’s hospitalization.
To give you an idea of the extent of this drug epidemic, when authorities were looking for Tubbs, they went to another home – in addition to the property where Tubbs lived and the girl was found ill – only to discover a meth lab there as well.
So the man who allegedly filled a Sprite bottle with acid used to make methamphetamine is behind bars. But the girl who tried to drink that Sprite remains in critical condition.
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