CHINO VALLEY, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office (YCSO) says a man suspected of child abuse, after his almost-two-year-old grandson tested positive for methamphetamine, has turned himself in.
Delbert Wayne Harvey, 56, was booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including child abuse, possession of controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.
On Sept. 30, YCSO deputies were dispatched to the Yavapai Regional Medical Center in Prescott regarding a child who had tested positive for meth.
The child’s parents were interviewed at the hospital and explained that their 23-month-old son was left in the care of Harvey while they were working.
Harvey is the child’s grandfather.
Around 11:30 AM that morning, sheriff's deputies say Harvey sent a text to the child’s mother indicating something was wrong with her child, so she returned home immediately.
She noticed that the child was not acting normally and was possibly having a seizure, so she took the child to the hospital.
YCSO says after the child tested positive for drugs, he was transported to Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Hospital staff noted at the time, “This child requires critical care services because he has, or is at risk of imminent or life threatening deterioration from drug withdrawal.”
The boy had been staying with Harvey in his travel trailer parked on his Chino Valley property.
Detectives sought and obtained a search warrant for Harvey’s trailer. According to YCSO, a search of the trailer turned up "numerous items of drug paraphernalia and a usable quantity of methamphetamine."
YCSO says Harvey had taken off from the scene before the arrival of detectives.
Another family member, who had met with Harvey at the home after learning about the child’s hospitalization, mentioned that Harvey had changed his story several times when questioned as to how the child became ill.
Detectives have not confirmed exactly how the child ingested methamphetamine, but based on the physical evidence found inside the trailer where the child had spent the morning with Harvey, they have determined this environment was the source.
After several days, the child was released from the hospital and his condition is improving.
Detectives noted there was no indication either parent had any role in causing the boy to test positive for illicit drugs.
Several attempts to locate Harvey have been unsuccessful.
If anyone has information on Harvey's whereabouts, please contact detective Mark Yates at 928-777-7273.
If you wish to remain anonymous and become eligible for a cash reward should the tip lead to Harvey’s arrest, call Yavapai Silent Witness at 1-800-932-3232.