Little boy in drug overdose photo gets new home

OHIO • The boy who was seen in a shocking photo sitting in the back seat of a car while a couple were slumped over in the front from a drug overdose has found a new home.

The four-year-old boy, who has not been named, will move in with his great-uncle and great-aunt in South Carolina after their court petition for custody was granted by a judge on Monday, the BBC reported yesterday.

The great-uncle and great-aunt have not been named as well.

Photos of the boy and the couple, now identified as his grandmother and her boyfriend, made international headlines last week after the East Liverpool Ohio police department posted the image on its Facebook page.

The boy's grandmother, 50- year-old Rhonda Pasek, was granted custody of the boy only six weeks ago, the BBC report said

Police have detained her under a child endangerment charge.

Her boyfriend, James Acord, 47, has pleaded guilty to child endangerment and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Both of them were taken into custody on Wednesday last week after an officer driving his personal vehicle stopped Acord for driving erratically.

The police said they released the controversial image - in which the couple were seen passed out with their mouths agape - to raise awareness about the heroin epidemic in the community.

The post caused a social media firestorm, generating 20,000 shares and nearly 3,000 comments in the 24 hours after it was posted, Reuters reported.

But the post also came under fire from some people, who questioned why the police had posted the photo without blurring the boy's image. Others questioned the department's approach in shaming the couple.

An officer's report that was posted together with the Facebook photo said Acord's head was "bobbing back and forth" and his speech was almost unintelligible when they were stopped.

He appeared to have passed out, while Pasek's face had turned blue, when the photo was taken.

They were revived by emergency medical technicians, according to the officer's report.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2016, with the headline 'Little boy in drug overdose photo gets new home'. Print Edition | Subscribe