In a strange and rather heartbreaking case, CPS has petitioned to remove a baby from the care of her father, who the agency says is unfit and unable to care for her. The case has made national headlines, and has resulted in criminal charges for both the baby’s parents.
The story starts on September 25th at about 6:55 am. The Muskegon Police Department received a call about damage being done by a construction crane. Officers arrived on the scene and discovered 32-year-old Larry Lee Wolting, Jr. sitting in the cab of a large Erickson’s construction crane. He had apparently taken the crane from the former Esco plant, and then driven across the road to a UPS facility, where he was crashing into poles and knocking down power lines.
It was allegedly obvious to officers that Wolting was high on some type of drug, and so they took him into protective custody and transported him to a nearby hospital. It was shortly thereafter however, that an employee of the Esco plant discovered a screaming baby, naked and covered in filth, lying facedown in the dirt under a chair.
The baby was found in a nearby building, and was taken to the hospital as well. She was discovered to have a few minor injuries – scrapes on her knees and a bleeding toe, but the major issue was that she tested positive for methamphetamines. It was later discovered that the baby was Wolting’s and though he could recall that he had brought her with him, he had no idea where he’d left her.
CPS was contacted and they began an immediate investigation.
It didn’t take long before they decided that Wolting wasn’t a fit parent, and petitioned the court to have the baby removed from his care. This petition included the baby’s mother as well – Victoria Swift. According to CPS records, Swift sought medical treatment for a painful abscess on her left arm, which is allegedly the result of intravenous heroin use.
Later during her pregnancy, Swift tested positive for numerous drugs, including marijuana, methamphetamines, and heroin. After the baby was born and Swift was released from the hospital, she never returned to visit her baby, who was being treated for severe addiction. According to the doctors at DeVos Children’s Hospital, the baby suffered severe withdrawal symptoms that included tremors, shaking, and vomiting after eating. The baby was treated with morphine to ease her symptoms.
In addition to the petition filed by CPS, Wolting is facing some very serious criminal charges. These include:
- Second Degree Child Abuse,
- Breaking and Entering a Building (with intent to destroy its contents),
- Malicious Destruction of property more than $1,000 but less than $20,000, and
- Operating While Intoxicated (under the influence of meth)
While we certainly recognize that a parent cannot appropriately care for their child while high on meth and other illegal narcotics, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will lose your children forever. For those parents who are dedicated to their children and to sobriety, we have successfully preserved parental rights and reunified many families. Even if CPS feels you cannot overcome your addiction, our skilled and compassionate attorneys are experienced in helping our dedicated clients through their addiction and keeping their family intact.