VISTA — A child was removed from her parents’ care during a probation check at 8 a.m. Jan. 25 when authorities found drug paraphernalia on the bed next to the child.
A specialized unit from the San Diego Sheriff’s Vista Station conducted a probation compliance detail on Arturo Camarena, 35, who was out on bail at the time of the detail, according to Sgt. Joe Mata of the sheriff’s department.
During the probation check authorities determined that Camarena and his wife, Mary Sanchez, 29, were using heroin and methamphetamine in the presence of their 3-year-old daughter, Mata said.
“Where she was lying at — there was a meth pipe right there,” he said of the child.
The daughter was removed from the home and put into protective custody by the Drug Endangered Children’s Protective Service Unit.
Both parents were arrested and booked into the Vista Detention Facility.
Sanchez faces charges of possession of a controlled substance and willful cruelty to a child, and is being held on $100,000 bail.
The county’s child welfare director, Debra Zanders-Willis, said she couldn’t comment on specific cases, but that it is always the goal of the department to reunite parents with their children.
She said that typically what happens after a child is removed from the home is that it’s the department’s first priority to find an appropriate relative who is willing to care for the child during the separation.
Another step in the process can include children being placed into foster care if relative care is not an option, she said.
But if parents are sent to prison for a year or two, the court may make another determination that includes adoption of the children, depending on their age, Zanders-Willis said.
“For 3-and-under, we really do have to look at permanency if parents are going to be removed,” she said.