The Richmond Register

Local News

December 6, 2012

Children found among syringes, pills and other drugs

RICHMOND — Richmond police arrested two women Tuesday after officers said they found two children asleep in a Knights Inn motel room that was filled with smoke, spoons, syringes and other drugs paraphernalia.

Police responded after receiving a 2:56 p.m. report that young children were being exposed to illicit drug activity and dangerous drug paraphernalia, said Richmond Police Chief Larry Brock.

Officers were greeted at the door by a visitor to the room, Kathie L. Browning, 51, of Bratcher Lane in Berea, Brock said.

“In speaking with Browning, officers concluded that she was under the influence of an intoxicant and noted that the room was filled with smoke and had an odor that officers associated with possible drug use,” the chief said. “Officers further observed two small, male children, ages 4 and 9, asleep on a bed in the room.

Inside the room, police said they found several items of drug paraphernalia scattered about the room, including spoons, cotton balls, pill bottles, burnt marijuana cigarettes and numerous syringes and pills that were in close proximity to the sleeping children.

The room’s renter, Sarah L. Ritenour, a.k.a. Sarah Hogue, 24, was located in the bathroom and also under the influence, according to the police report.

“It later was determined that the children had been brought to the room by Browning, who was a relative of the children but not their guardian,” Brock said.

Both women were taken into custody. Police searched Ritenour’s body, finding a syringe, a cut straw, five oxycodone (Percocet) pills and a bag containing an unidentified white powder, Brock reported.

Social services representatives were summoned to the scene, and they transferred custody of the children to another relative.

Both women face charges of first-degree wanton endangerment. Ritenour faces the additional charges of first-degree possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Browning remained in the Madison County Detention Center on Thursday under a $5,000, unsecured, third-party bond. Ritenour was released Wednesday on an amended bond of $2,500, unsecured, third-party bond.

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