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Deputies: Baby born inside hoarding home, fentanyl found

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 11:08 AM EDT|Updated: Nov. 4, 2021 at 12:12 PM EDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Two Evansville parents are in jail on neglect charges after deputies say they were called to a home for a welfare check.

Deputies were called to a home in the 4500 block of Crestview Drive after they say they got a tip from a caller that the parents’ newborn baby was in danger.

According to the caller, the baby had not received any medical care since birth.

When authorities showed up, they say the homeowner, 33-year-old Clifford Johns II, shut the front door.

“When we arrived there, we were met by one of the parents, the father, who immediately shut the door on our deputies,” Sheriff Dave Wedding said.

Authorities then got a search warrant for 31-year-old Sasha Drake, who was also inside the home. They say she was wanted for failure to appear.

When deputies searched the home, they say they saw trash and hoarding throughout the home from the floor to the ceiling. They also say there were insects inside, and there was no power when temperatures were in the 30s.

“We didn’t see a place for the baby to even lay down on, no bed, no bassinet, we don’t know where the baby would sleep,” Wedding said.

They took Drake into custody and spoke with the father, Johns.

Johns told deputies their baby was born on October 31 inside the home.

During a second search, authorities say they also found drug paraphernalia, a pill bottle with aluminum foil with a white powdery substance inside, along with an unused syringe.

Officials say that white substance later tested positive for fentanyl.

According to an affidavit, Drake admitted to using meth and heroin while pregnant. She also said she didn’t take the child to the hospital before or after the birth because she knew the Department of Child Services would take her baby away.

“Surely we’re going to take the child away because that’s in the child’s best interest,” Wedding said. “That’s what we as a government entity need to do to protect people that can’t protect themselves. This is a classic case of that, if the child would have been left in that home, it could have died.”

Sheriff Wedding tells 14 News the baby is a girl. He says she has meth in her system and has to go through the withdrawal process.

“It’s frustrating for law enforcement to know this occurs every day, especially as a parent and grandparent,” Wedding said.

Both Drake and Johns are booked in the Vanderburgh County Jail on neglect and drug charges.

Documents show both have lengthy criminal histories. They show Drake has several prior drug arrests, while Johns has several prior battery arrests.

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