Parents of child that swallowed powerful meth making ingredient - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

UPDATE: Child swallows sulfuric acid; couple accused in case appear in court

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Jared McStoots. (Source: Ohio County Detention Center) Jared McStoots. (Source: Ohio County Detention Center)
Rachael Arroyo. (Source: Ohio County Detention Center) Rachael Arroyo. (Source: Ohio County Detention Center)

The parents whose two-year-old child swallowed a powerful ingredient used to make meth appeared in court Friday.

The mother of the child, Rachael Arroyo, and her boyfriend, Jared McStoots appeared in Ohio County District Court. 

Arroyo pleaded not guilty and waived the case to the grand jury and a preliminary hearing was not held.

However, a hearing was held for McStoots. The investigator in the case, Detective Hatfield, with the Ohio County Sheriff's Office, testified about the child's injuries. 

Hatfield says McStoots first told him he thought the child ingested rat poison.

After testimony the judge found probable cause to believe crimes were committed and McStoots's charges will now go to a grand jury for further action.

The two-year-old child is in stable but serious condition in a Louisville hospital. The Ohio County Sheriff's Office says Arroyo and McStoots, were arrested in the case on June 9.

Authorities say the child swallowed sulfuric acid drain opener, which is also known as liquid fire and used to make meth. 

"I just thought, 'Oh my God, they finally, they did it, and she's probably not going to make it'," says Amanda Stone, a cousin to the child. 

Those were the first thoughts that Stone says rushed through her mind when she first heard the news.

"If they can't take care of her, and she had to be flown to Kosair's, I knew it was serious," Stone says.

Detectives say the girl was originally taken to Owensboro Health with burns to her lips, mouth, tongue, and esophagus.  

"When they said that she had ingested something and had blisters around her mouth, we figured that she had been thirsty and had drank something related to meth," Stone says.

According to the sheriff's office, Arroyo and McStoots waited nearly six hours before taking the child to the hospital.

"This is the first I've ever worked. I'm sure it's happened in other places," says Detective Timothy Hatfield with the Ohio County Sheriff's Office.  

Detective Hatfield says this is one of the extremes of the growing meth epidemic.

"It is a problem, and it has been for some time," Detective Hatfield says.

The child's family says it believes that the situation could have been prevented.  

"It's not like, 'Oh, she swallowed something and her mouth is burned'.  She is severely, traumatically injured," Stone says.

Both Arroyo and McStoots have been charged with controlled substance endangerment to a child and wanton endangerment. 

Additional charges have now been added for them both. McStoots is now facing charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, unlawful possession of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

Arroyo is also charged with manufacturing methamphetamine.

Detective Hatfield says McStoots' mother, 50-year-old Loie McStoots, has been arrested on several drug charges including manufacturing meth. 

Her case will now go to a grand jury as well.

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