BURNSIDE — [UPDATE: The four defendants are scheduled to appear in Pulaski District Court Wednesday, Sept. 4 for preliminary hearings.]
One of the four suspects charged by Pulaski County authorities with endangering a child who tasted drain cleaner allegedly used to make methamphetamine was captured last week locally.
The incident occurred late on the night of August 20 when the boy's mother — 24-year-old Brittany Helton — brought him to the home of neighbor Brian Herrin, 36.
A cup which contained Liquid Fire was sitting on a table at Herrin's house, police said. The child picked up the cup and started to take a drink, but dropped it when the product burned his lips and mouth.
Liquid Fire is a powerful drain cleaner containing sulfuric acid. It is one of the ingredients used to convert the drug in some cold and allergy medicines into meth.
The acid spilled onto the boy's chest and legs, causing burns there also.
The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office became involved after the child's father, Curtis Anderson, 23, brought the 20-month-old boy to the emergency room at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in the early morning hours of the next day.
Initially there were fears that the child's injuries were life-threatening, so he was flown to the University of Kentucky Medical Center. However, doctors determined that he had not swallowed the acid.
Officers searched Herrin's home and found items used in making meth such as acid, batteries, tubing and acetone.
Herrin and a friend — 26-year-old Krystal Hampton — fled. Police then arrested the boy's parents last Tuesday, charging all four adults with controlled-substance endangerment of a child. Herrin is additionally charged with making meth.
On Wednesday, sheriff’s units along with members of the U.S. Marshall’s Fugitive Task Force located Hampton at the residence of Thomas Joe Smart on Ky. 92 in McCreary County. Police said Smart was not involved in the incident, and no one has been found to have harbored the suspects or tried to conceal them from investigators.
On Thursday, Herrin was arrested at an address on Caney Branch Road by the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, marking the last of the quartet to be located by authorities.
The child had by then been released from the hospital and placed with a relative.