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Mother warns about drugs disguised as candy after near tragedy

Eugene police responded to calls at 11 a.m. Saturday of three young boys who were unconscious in a home off 22nd Ave in Eugene.

Posted: Oct 20, 2019 6:50 PM
Updated: Oct 21, 2019 10:06 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Eugene police said they responded to calls late Saturday morning about three young boys who were unconscious in a home off 22nd Ave in Eugene.

Heidi Howell said she came home around 11 a.m. to find her 10 and 9 year old sons and her 6 year old grandson unresponsive. She said she had no idea what was wrong and that it was worse than she could have ever expected.

One neighbor across the street, Heidi Enebrand, saw first responders and assumed something was wrong with the parents. 

"My hope was to come over and maybe help bring the kids over here thinking I could offer them support when it was them that was in trouble," she said.

Howell said when she came home she saw her two sons and one grandson unresponsive on the couch and floor.

Nearby was a pez candy dispenser and what looked like candy. Howell said she later found out it wasn't candy at all.

She said when she saw her boys laying around unresponsive she thought they were playing a prank on her, but it was no joke and she said the reality was a thing of nightmares.

She said the pills were actually drugs from her daughter, a woman Howell described as a transient, who was overdosed in the bathroom.

Howell currently has custody of all three boys and said her daughter comes and goes uninvited.

She said they were transported to Riverbend and the 10 year old and 6 year old were life flighted to OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland.

Howell said hospital tests confirmed there was Benzodiazepine, a psychoactive drug, in all three boys' blood.

She said this close to Halloween she wants parents be extra careful when it comes to their kids accepting candy from strangers.

EPD and the Department of Human Services are currently investigating.

KEZI reached out to DHS, but they said confidentiality laws prohibit them from sharing information about specific cases.

Howell said that while this has rocked her to the core, she's just glad her boys are OK.

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