Report: Day care worker built 'drug den' inside cabinet, exposed - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Report: Day care worker built 'drug den' inside cabinet, exposed infants to meth

SOURCE: Missoula County Sheriff’s Department SOURCE: Missoula County Sheriff’s Department
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) -

A 30-year-old Montana day care worker faces felony charges after prosecutors say she was using methamphetamine while caring for infants.

Autumn Sienna Heinz made an initial appearance in Missoula County Justice Court on Thursday on charges of criminal endangerment, possession of dangerous drugs and criminal mischief. She did not enter a plea. Her bail was set at $30,000.

KULR reports Heinz worked at the YMCA Learning Center for three years. In the past month, employees noticed her taking 35-45 minute breaks. One employee reportedly found her in the laundry room, carrying what appeared to be a "drug kit."

Police were called, and responding officers discovered Heinz had set up a cabinet as a small area for using drugs. A battery-powered light, small shelves, cloths stapled in to serve as makeshift curtains, and hooks that could keep the cabinet doors closed shut were found inside. A pipe, methamphetamine crystals and lighters were also found.

Heinz told police she had a history of drug abuse. She told officers she had decorated the laundry room cabinet as an area to "go on breaks and get away."

YMCA Interim Executive Director Heather Foster says Heinz would have had direct contact with about 12 babies. Deputy Missoula County Attorney James McCubbin says every room in the building tested positive for meth “and all of the children appear to have been exposed.”

Court records say cleanup costs could exceed $80,000.

Foster says another YMCA facility is opening its drop-off day care to try to maintain services for 56 children.

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