A 4-year-old boy, who was initially identified as Pasek’s son, was found in the backseat. The Daily Mail now reports that Pasek is actually the boy’s grandmother. His mother is 25-year-old Reva McCullough, who now works as a stripper at a North Lima, Ohio club called Tiffany’s Dolls.
Here’s what you need to know about their arrest and their pasts. WARNING: Some of the photos may be disturbing.
1. Pasek Was Unconscious in the Car & Acord Fell Unconscious After the Police Officer Stopped Him
East Liverpool Police Officer Kevin Thompson wrote in his report that he found the couple on Wednesday, September 7 at around 3:11 p.m. ET. Acord was driving a dark Ford Escape “very erratic, weaving back and forth in the lane while driving on the yellow center and back in the right edge of the roadway,” Thompson wrote. The vehicle had a West Virginia registration.
When a school bus came by to drop off children, the suspect stopped the vehicle. But when the bus began to move again, the suspect’s vehicle did not move forward in a straight line. Instead, it started drifting towards another street in an angle before stopping again, Thompson wrote.
Thompson spoke with the driver, identified as Acord, he wrote. He saw Acord’s head “bobbing back and forth” and noticed that the suspect had pin-point pupils. Thompson wrote that Acord tried to explain that he was taking Pasek to the hospital, as Pasek was already unconscious.
According to Thompson, Acord tried to drive away, but Thompson reached in to turn the car off. At this point, the officer noticed the young child in the backseat.
Thompson wrote that Acord eventually fell unconscious himself and Pasek was “turning blue.” Thompson then called for an ambulance and he saw the EMS team use “several rounds of a drug known as Narcan which is commonly used to reverse an opiate overdose.”
The suspects were then taken to East Liverpool City Hospital. A folded up piece of paper was found between Pasek’s legs with a “pink powdery substance,” which was later sent to a lab.
Acord pleaded no contest to endangering children and driving under the influence, according to East Liverpool Municipal Court records. His driver’s license was suspended for three years and he will spend 180 days in jail. He was also ordered to pay a $475 fine.
Pasek’s charges also include endangering children, not wearing a seat belt and public intoxication. On September 15, Pasek was sentenced to 180 days in jail after pleading no contest.
2. East Liverpool Police Posted Photos of the Two Unconscious on the City’s Facebook Page to Highlight the Growing Drug Addiction Epidemic in Ohio
In its Facebook post, the city of East Liverpool officials wrote that they knew the photos were graphic, but had to share them to make a statement.
“We feel it necessary to show the other side of this horrible drug,” the statement reads. “We feel we need to be a voice for the children caught up in this horrible mess. This child can’t speak for himself but we are hopeful his story can convince another user to think twice about injecting this poison while having a child in their custody.”
After apologizing for potentially offending anyone, the city noted that the public has to know about the issue many face on a daily basis.
“The poison known as heroin has taken a strong grip on many communities not just ours, the difference is we are willing to fight this problem until it’s gone and if that means we offend a few people along the way we are prepared to deal with that,” the statement reads.
3. Acord Has Been Arrested Twice for DUI & Pasek Was Arrested for Drug Possession in 2011
Both Acord and Pasek have criminal records. In October 2013, The Weirton Daily Times reported that Acord was arrested for driving under the influence. He was arrested again in March 2016. In both of these cases, Acord listed a Wellsburg, West Virginia address.
The city of Weirton, West Virginia also posted the photos to its Facebook page, noting that Pasek also has a criminal record that includes a drug possession charge in 2011.
4. Pasek Is the Child’s Grandmother & His Mother Works at a Strip Club in North Lima, Ohio
According to the police report, the child was later identified as Pasek’s son. Columbiana County children’s Services was called and he was taken to the police department. WTOV reports that the child was being taken care of by a neighbor.
“It’s sad that this area has a drug problem, the heroin problem, and this is what you’re seeing,” East Liverpool Patrolman Kevin Thompson told WTOV. “And the children, unfortunately, are one of the biggest victims of that.”
The City of East Liverpool later posted an update from a neighbor, who wrote that custody of the child was transferred to family members in South Carolina.
However, on September 14, The Daily Mail published an interview with Reva McCullough, who claims that she is the boy’s mother. She now works as a stripper at Tiffany’s Angels in North Lima, Ohio.
The Daily Mail reports that McCullough lost custody of the child four and a half months before he was born due to drug use. A judge first gave his great-grandparents custody, but custody battles soon followed. She told the Daily Mail that she was not aware that her son was taken to her aunt in South Carolina.
“I don’t take drugs any more. I haven’t even had a drink all night,” she told the Daily Mail. “Ironically I have never taken heroin.” She did say, however, that she did use crack cocaine and marijuana in the past.
“I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in my life,” she told the Daily Mail. “I just went wild when I was 18.”
NBC News also confirmed on September 14 that the boy is Pasek’s grandson and Acord is the boy’s great-uncle. Pasek’s sister, who asked not to be identified told NBC News that the city of East Liverpool should have blurred the boy’s face in the photos. “I’m not condoning what Rhonda done, but what they did to her and what they’re doing to her grandson is too much,” Pasek’s sister said.
5. Over 3,000 Ohioans Died From Accidental Drug Overdoses in 2015 & Heroin is Killing 23 Ohioans a Week
Drugs have been a growing problem for Ohio in the past two years. The Ohio Department of Health reports that 3,050 Ohio residents were killed by unintentional drug overdoses, the highest ever. In 2014, the number of deaths was 2,531.
Many of these deaths are linked to fentanyl, which is often mixed with other drugs, including heroin. In 2015, 1,155 Ohioans died in fentanyl-related drug overdoses, more than twice the number of deaths in 2014, when 503 people died.
In April 2016, CBS News reported that at least 23 people die from a heroin overdose in Ohio each week. In addition, a University of Cincinnati study found that one in five Ohio residents know someone suffering from a heroin addiction.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse notes that deaths from heroin abuse have skyrocketed across the county. According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, 10,574 people died from heroin abuse in 2014.