CLEARFIELD — The Lawrence Township Police Department continues to investigate a possible case of endangering the welfare of children after a 9-month-old girl tested positive for illegal drugs.
The girl was in the care of her parents Joshua Root, 32, and Melissa Root, 29, both of Clearfield, the night of Jan. 23, when the girl was taken by Joshua Root to the emergency room of Penn Highlands DuBois, where girl tested positive for cocaine and amphetamines. The girl was then transferred by ambulance to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.
The girl was released on Jan. 25 and was placed into protective custody with her grandparents. The Roots also have a 3-year-old daughter who was also placed in protective custody with her grandparents.
Monday, the Lawrence Township Police Department reported they are investigating a possible case of endangering the welfare of children, recklessly endangering the welfare of others and drug paraphernalia and named the girl’s parents as the people involved.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Jan. 27, police executed a search warrant on the Roots’ home at 2273 Montgomery Run Road where multiple items of drug paraphernalia were found. A more complete account of the incident was printed in Tuesday’s edition of the Courier Express.
Wednesday, Chief Douglas Clark told The Progress the investigation into the case continues and several items of evidence have been sent to a lab for testing. He said additional charges are forthcoming, but said he couldn’t give any additional details on the case at this time.
Joshua Root has already been charged with three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and is incarcerated in the Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $25,000 monetary bail.
Currently, no charges have been filed against Melissa Root.
While at the Roots’ residence for the search warrant, police arrested two men for drug possession and assault on a police officer.
According to police, Nicholas A. Rowles, 23, of Houtzdale was outside the residence near the shed. He consented to a search of his vehicle and told police he had a bag of crystal meth inside the vehicle. Police found the crystal meth and various items of paraphernalia.
He has been charged with possession of a controlled substance by person not registered — which is an ungraded felony, and use/possession of drug paraphernalia — an ungraded misdemeanor. He is currently free on $10,000 unsecured bail,
Also, Zachary D. Tibbens, 21, of Latrobe, who had a warrant for his arrest, was found inside a vehicle in the driveway of the residence.
Prior to taking him into custody, Assistant Chief Greg Neeper of the Clearfield Borough Police Department asked Tibbens if he had anything sharp in his pockets that could cut him and Tibbens said he didn’t.
While searching Tibbens, Neeper cut his finger on an uncapped hypodermic needle in Tibbens’ rear pants pocket. Neeper was immediately taken to Penn Highlands Clearfield for treatment.
Tibbens denied knowing the needle was in his pocket and said the needle and the pants weren’t his.
Tibbens was transported to the Clearfield County Jail and was charged with felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.
Tibbens was arrested in September and October after drugs and hypodermic needles were found in his vehicle. A warrant was issued for his arrest for summons undelivered.
He is currently incarcerated in the Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $10,000 monetary bail.