FROM STAFF REPORTS
After a drug test on a 1-year-old boy came back positive for meth, Marble Falls police charged his mother and stepfather with child endangerment.
Police arrested 38-year-old Sarah Elizabeth Waybright-Hill and 33-year-old Nathan Robert McPherson on June 24 on the state jail felony of abandoning/endangering a child-criminal negligence. The two were booked into the Burnet County Jail, where they remained as of June 25.
According to an arrest affidavit warrant signed by Judge Cheryl Pounds, the Marble Falls Police Department was contacted by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services regarding the child testing positive for meth.
Child Protective Services removed the child from his parents’ custody on June 6 and placed him with a relative. The family had been living in a Marble Falls-area motel for about six weeks, according to the affidavit. CPS went to their motel room on June 6 after it was reported that McPherson told his parole officer June 3 he had “snorted” meth that same day.
McPherson told the investigating CPS officer he used the drugs while at work and not around the child. As the CPS officer questioned the couple, Waybright-Hill admitted she had also used meth on June 3 along with McPherson, according to the affidavit.
The mother told the CPS investigator the child was in the care of a family member at the time she used the illegal drugs, but the family member in question said she had not been with the child on June 3.
On June 7, the CPS investigator conducted a home visit of the relative who was watching the child after his removal from the motel room.
During the visit, the relative informed the CPS agent the 1-year-old had only slept for about 45 minutes the previous night, and just in 3- to 5-minute intervals. The relative told the CPS investigator she felt the child was “coming off drugs,” according to the affidavit.
CPS conducted a hair follicle test on the child, which came back positive for the presence of meth.
Marble Falls police began investigating the case June 17. Police investigators contacted the child’s mother at the motel on June 19, and she continued to deny she ever used drugs around her son. When asked to explain why the child had meth in his system, she said she did not know “unless it was from skin contact while her son was laying beside her and McPherson,” according to the affidavit. She told investigators “she has left him with friends before, and she had smoked methamphetamine in other places, but she did not give her son drugs or have drugs around him.”
Marble Falls police investigators didn’t buy her explanation but instead believed the two regularly used drugs in the presence of the child, according to the affidavit.
If convicted, Waybright-Hill and McPherson each face up to two years in state jail.
Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact the Marble Falls Police Department at (830) 693-3611. Tips on this or other criminal activities also can be made anonymously through the Hill Country Area Crime Stoppers at 1-866-756-8477 or its website. Tips could bring a cash reward.