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Police: Couple allowed 10-month-old to ingest opium

Gastonia police say a man and woman allowed a 10-month-old boy to ingest opium last month, leading to a three-week hospital stay for the infant.

Pamela Pope Cavender, 44, the child’s grandmother, and Nick Randall Huffstetler, 45, were arrested Monday evening and charged with child neglect/abuse, resulting in serious bodily injury. They made their initial court appearances Tuesday afternoon.

Police say they were called at 6:15 a.m. May 1 to Huffstetler’s residence and found the child unresponsive and not breathing. The little boy was rushed to Caromont Regional Medical Center, and then to Levine Children’s Hospital.

The child was in the hospital more than 20 days, according to Gastonia police.

Cavender was watching the child for her daughter, who was out of town. The two suspects are being held under $50,000 bond.

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