A 29-year-old Muncie, Ind., woman named Melisa Kay Drinkard is under arrest today, charged with possession of the new recreational drug known as "bath salts" and neglecting her children. Drinkard was so high on bath salts when she was arrested that she could not provide police with information about her three children, including a newborn son, who were with her at the time. She faces charges of neglecting a dependent.
According to police, Drinkard, who was misidentified in many media reports as "Baby Girl Drinkard" (a reference in the police report to her daughter), "had trouble keeping her balance ... and forming complete sentences" while they spoke with her before her arrest. She reportedly could not tell police how to spell one of her children's names or the birth date of another child.
She had handed her infant son to a friend while talking with the police.
"Bath salts" contain man-made substances known as methylmethcathinone (mephedrone) and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). Available online or at convenience stores for as little as $25, the drugs can be snorted, injected or smoked. Bath salts can elicit a cocaine-like high, along with paranoia and hallucinations. Many states have made them illegal in recent months.
Drinkard reportedly told police that she thought bath salts were legal in Indiana. Some of the substances often sold as bath salts are currently illegal in the state. A bill to ban more of the substances was unanimously approved by the state legislature on March 5 and awaits Gov. Mitch Daniels' signature.
Drinkard's children have been placed in the custody of their grandmother.
In related news, Donna Zilla, a 41-year-old resident of Dunmore, Pa., plead guilty to endangering the welfare of her two children, ages 3 and 1, while under the influence of bath salts. Zilla and her children were passengers in a car driven by Michele Pace, who pled guilty to driving under the influence and endangering her passengers. Zilla's 3-year-old daughter was not in a child safety seat at the time, as required by law. Zilla faces seven years in prison and is out on $15,000 bail.
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