Meth exposure has sickened children warns stepmom

Meth exposure can take a heavy physical and psychological toll on children. This letter to Meth Lab Homes highlights some of the serious effects that meth exposure has taken on 4 children and on the family now caring for them.

Dear Meth Lab Homes,

“Thank you for posting this site!! I am a step parent to 4 children that have a meth abuser mother and the youngest almost died at 6 months old from the meth. He has many problems with memory, it takes him at least 10 seconds or so to even answer questions and also just looks at you with a blank expression…so frustrating.

He is 11 now and I have been there step mom for over 7 years now and we have been thru many neurological testing, hearing tests and so on.He is also on an IEP because he has a hard time with normal everyday things.He also at this age can not be alone in the bathroom or take a bath alone with the door closed because he has hallucinations that something is going to get him. He will be 12 in February. The children times before would also come home from summer vacations having to always go to the doctors and need inhalers and so on.Please help me keep my sanity!! We are raising 7 together.

I want to thank you so much again for having this site because others need to know!”

Akron Ohio: Baby poisoned to death by meth lab chemicals

(video post) The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled that Patrick Nicholas Lerch, a 17-month-old baby from Akron, died as a result of being poisoned by meth lab chemicals. The Medical Examiner also noted that the baby’s body showed signs of both neglect and abuse.


February 13, 2012

On February 13, 2012, Kimberly Clark, who is married to a man that is related to Heather Lerch,  says she contacted the Department of Children’s Services, to inform them that Lerch was moving in to a drug house with her son, 17-month-old Patrick Lerch. According to a woman, who knew Lerch during the time she lived at Harvest House – a homeless shelter for parents and children – complaints that Lerch had acted abusively towards the baby while at the shelter,  had also been reported to the agency. The agency says they investigated Clark’s February 13th complaint, but could find no reason to remove the baby from his mother’s care.

February 26, 2012

Shortly before 11 a.m. on February 26, 2012, a man living inside the Patrick Lerch’s former home made a call to 911. The dispatcher heard a woman crying in the background. The man told the dispatcher,   “A little baby boy is not breathing. He stopped breathing. He went to sleep, and now we can’t get him to wake up. He won’t breathe or nothing”.  Five minutes later, police and paramedics arrived at the house on Saint Leger Avenue, and found the body of Patrick Lerch lying in his crib. At 11:17 p.m., Akron Children’s Hospital officially pronounced that the toddler was dead.

March 26, 2012
Akron police arrested four adults, who shared the former home of Patrick Lerch.

The baby’s mother, Heather Lerch, 20,  and Ronald Legg, 22, were charged with murder and felony child endangerment. Ronald Legg received additional charges for violating the terms of his probation for theft and receiving stolen property. His police record includes 10 arrests.

Two other men,  Randy Legg, 19, who is Heather Lerch’s boyfriend and the brother of Ronald Legg, and Allen Ray Kostra, 24, were also charged with manslaughter. Kostra has also been charged with a contempt of court in a theft case. His police record includes 6 prior arrests by Akron police.

Meth lab discovery

According to a report by the Akron police, “Responding officers recovered an active meth lab in the basement of the house on St. Leger Avenue. Patrick Lerch died of Methamphetamine Intoxication due to the inhalation of chemicals during his abuse and neglect.”


“Akron: Police Department Incident Press Release: Archives.” The Official City of Akron Web Site. City of Akron Police Department, 23 Mar. 2012. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <>.

Achladis, Ted. “Akron Mom Charged in Meth Intoxication Death Of A Child.” Cleveland News & Weather from WJW Television FOX 8. 23 Mar. 2012. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <>.

Meyer, Ed. “Authorities Calling Death of 17-month-old Toddler ‘suspected Homicide'” Akron Beacon Journal Online, 28 Feb. 2012. Web. 28 Mar. 2012.

Meyer, Ed. “Grand Jury to Review Evidence in Child’s Death.” Akron Beacon Journal Online, 27 Mar. 2012. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <>.

N.C. Suspicious chemical purchases help save Indian Trail infant

Tips from local business owners about suspicious chemical purchases led police straight to a home on Indian Trail home on Thursday. In a garage behind the home, they discovered a 1-year-old infant and Teri Kuhns Witmore, a 27-year-old woman who was in the process of making methamphetamine, when police arrived. Union County Department of Social Services workers took emergency custody of the baby girl, while police placed Witmore, 27, and Ryan Adrian Russell, 34, who also resides in the garage, under arrest.

Witmore and Russell were charged with a long list of serious charges that included trafficking in meth, manufacturing meth, possession of meth, maintaining a dwelling to keep drugs, possession of precursor chemicals, possession of drug paraphernalia and felony child abuse. Their bonds were set at $500,000. As of Saturday, they were still being held at the Union County jail.


Cooke, Meghan. “Crime & Justice.” Police: Infant Found in Union Co. Meth Lab. 24 Mar. 2012. Web. 25 Mar. 2012. <>.


Hampton, Kentucky: Three and four year old children test positive for methamphetamine

Three children, the youngest of which were 3 and 4 year old boys, were removed from a Hampton, Kentucky home where several meth labs were seized. Medical tests performed on the children revealed that the younger children tested positive for methamphetamine.

Kenneth Murray and Jamie Bryan, who were arrested at the scene, have been charged with manufacturing meth, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and three counts each of endangering a child. Murray will also be charged with using a fake ID to buy pseudoephedrine on three different occasions, a class D felony that is punishable by a 5 year sentence in a state prison. A $20,000 cash bond was set for both suspects, who are currently being held at McCraken County Jail.

The meth lab bust, the third bust in Livingston County in a little over a month, was prompted by 7 months of complaints by neighbors, according to Channel 6 News.


Collins, Julie. “Weather.” Kids Found in Meth Home, Test Positive for Drugs. WPSD Channel 6 News, 28 Feb. 2012. Web. 29 Feb. 2012.

Tulsa, Oklahoma: Father of 15 month old boy killed in a meth lab fire points an accusing finger at legislators

Tulsa, Oklahoma:  Ayden Ross Jennings, who died on November 10, 2011, was just 15 months old when he lost his life in a meth lab fire in his mother’s home. The boy’s mother, Jennifer Michelle Jennings, 26, and Jacob Allen Bell, 35, are both facing charges of manufacturing meth and two counts of child neglect for making meth with two children present, children that included Ayden and another 5 year old child. Jeffrey Wayne McBride, 47, was also charged with manufacturing meth, after investigators said he admitted to them that he manufactured methamphetamine in the duplex, the day before Ayden’s death. McBride is being held on $507,500 bond; Jennings on a $200,500 bond, and Bell on a bond set at $62,500.

Donald Hogue, Ayden’s father, arrived in Tulsa on Saturday after David Starkey, founder of,  flew him back to Oklahoma from his home in Washington, so he could attend the funeral of his young son.  Oklahoma legislators were also invited by

Hogue to attend Ayden’s funeral today, so they could witness the tragic loss of his young son’s life.

“I hold every Oklahoma Legislator accountable that came out against OK HB 1235 and the ones who accepted the blood money from the drug lobby. This includes former Representative Dan Sullivan who has now admitted that he is the one that refused to take it to the house floor but he is not alone. What I want to know just how much money was my child’s life worth? How much was given to the legislature by The Consumer Health Care Products Association, Pfizer or any of the other pseudoephedrine manufacturer? I promise to find out how much blood money was accepted by legislators and make it very public. I do not want Ayden’s death to be for nothing and I am going to do all in my power to see that a prescription law is passed in Oklahoma and in the rest of the county. This is the only way to stop these children from burning to death in these meth lab explosions.”

Oklahoma legislators failed to pass legislation that would have made pseudoephedrine in pill-form a prescription drug in Oklahoma. If a prescription pseudoephedrine drug law had been passed last year, it would have become effective on November 1, 2011, nine days before Ayden’s tragic death.  Pseudoephedrine is the only ingredient in a meth recipe that can’t be substituted with something else, so meth-makers can’t make meth without it.

Read more from

Tulsa OK: Meth lab materials found in duplex after fire claims life of 15 month old baby

OBN Director Darrell Weaver: Pseudoephedrine sales booming in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Meth Labs and Pseudoephedrine: Tulsa Police Corporal Testifies at State Capitol – Part I (video)

 A former meth addict educates oklahoma legislators about meth addiction (video)

Video Part II Oklahoma: A former meth cook tells legislators to make pseudoephedrine a prescription

Meth addiction leads to torture and rape of a toddler at LaQuinta Inn

Oklahoma Senator says landlords should pay for methlab cleanup

Read more on the web:

Tulsa, OK: Meth lab materials found in duplex after fire claims life of 15 month old baby

Man blames lawmakers in toddler’s death 



Exposure to Toxins: Embryos, Fetuses, Young Children

meth cook high chair

“New science shows that exposure to toxins prenatally or early in life can have a devastating and lifelong effect on the developing architecture of the brain. Exposures to many chemicals have much more severe consequences for embryos, fetuses, and young children, whose brains are still developing, than for adults.”

~ National Scientific Council on the Developing Child (2006). Early Exposure to Toxic Substances Damages Brain Architecture: Working Paper No. 4. Retrieved from

New Mexico Senate Hearing on Air Quality and Children’s Health (Video)

Video: During a New Mexico Hearing on Air Quality and Children’s Health, Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) questioned Dr. Donna Upson of the American Lung Association about whether air pollution contributes to breathing problems.

Upson’s response suggests that air pollution aggravates asthma and can creates respiratory health issues. Although the discussion focuses on outdoor pollutants, what it reveals about indoor air quality is vitally important. Former meth lab homes are full of toxic air particles, which is why professionals wear head-to-toe protection, which includes respirators, when they enter a home that’s been used to make meth.

An important message from the teenage son of a meth cook

Hi, my name is Justin. I am 14 yrs old, and my dad was a meth manufacturer. He did time in prison for it a few yrs back and it nearly broke my heart. I finally got back together with him and now he’s back in jail. It tears us apart so badly!

Please if u know any1 who uses or makes methamphetamine please please convince them 2 stop! U just never know what it could do 2 not only them, but u 2, depending on how close u r 2 them.

Bay County Fl Sheriff Mckeithen is furious over baby burned in explosion

Bay County, FLA Sheriff Frank Mckeithen is furious over a meth lab explosion, earlier this week, that resulted in life threatening burns to a Johna Osborn, a one-year-old baby girl, whose playpen caught fire during a meth lab explosion.

At a press conference soon after the explosion, Mckeithen let his anger and his words fly, stressing that he is tired of being politically correct when it comes to saving someone’s life.

*Sheriff McKeithen did this news conference shortly before John Osborn, the baby’s 34 year-old father was arrested and taken in to custody.

Bay County Florida: Baby in critical condition after meth lab explodes

bay-county-fla-parents A one year old girl is in critical condition, after a meth lab in her parents’ home exploded in  Bay County, Florida, on Sunday. One-year-old, Johna Osborn, received 2nd degree burns on 41% of her body, which will likely scar her for life – if she survives. Another baby, who was also in the home, was unhurt.

The Bay County Sheriff’s office says that when they arrived at the home, the girl’s mother explained that the girl got burned when she tripped while carrying the hot grease that started the fire. An investigation of the incident however, revealed that the fire was actually caused by a meth lab explosion, in the family’s home on Mylisa Road in Southport. Investigators believe that the girl’s father, Johnny Osborn was cooking meth when the explosion occurred. Despite his young daughter’s serious burn injuries, Osborn fled, when neighbors wouldn’t comply with his requests not to call 911.

On Tuesday, Osborn went to a local business and asked for medical help for the burns he received on his arms and hands. Employees then called the Lynn Haven Police Department to report a “suspicious” incident. When the Lynn Haven police arrived, they realized they had found the man who was “most wanted” by Sheriff Frank Mckeithen of Bay County. News reports say that then Mckeithen personally arrived to arrest arrest Osborn, before taking him to the hospital to be treated for his burns. Osborn, reports say, was already wanted on warrants out of Georgia. Reports about Sheriff Mckeithen’s reaction to the explosion, said that he was visibly angered and emotional about the incident. In fact, he was so upset with Osborn that he would not refused to acknowledge him as the father, instead choosing to describe him only as the “man that born her”.

Osborn and Wega had only been living in the neighborhood for a month, according to neighbors, who were upset and surprised about the explosion. They described the couple as quiet people, who kept to themselves, and as people who appeared to be good parents. One neighbor said he liked the couple. None of the neighbors, realized that they were running a meth lab. After the explosion, neighbors learned that Johnny Osborn was not the kind of neighbor that they thought he was. Osborn, they said, asked them not to call police after the explosion, because he was wanted by police in Georgia.

Once Osborn gets released from the hospital, he will be taken to the Bay County Jail, where he will be booked on charges including Aggravated Child Abuse, Manufacture of Methamphetamine Resulting in Injury to a Child, and Possession of a Listed Chemical (Pseudoephedrine).

Tessa Wagy, 23, is being charged with aggravated child abuse.

This is the 5th meth related explosion in Bay County in the last two months.

Source: WMBB “Mother Arrested, Father in Hospital After Meth Lab Explosion that Injured Baby”, 8/25/09,