Seven children removed from heroin home, WHAS11 takes you inside


by Adam Walser

Posted on July 5, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 6 at 6:28 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- An addictive drug makes a troubling return in Kentuckiana -- heroin.

In one case, seven children were removed from a home where police say they found heroin, needles and other paraphernalia.

Heroin used to be thought of as the drug of last resort, which would kill all but the most hardened addicts.

Now, police say heroin is more often turning up among younger people.

In a squalid room inside a South Louisville home, police say they seized multiple packages of heroin, needles and spoons.

All while investigators say seven children under the age of 10 played inside the home.

“It's a hell hole.  It's child abuse and drug abuse,” said neighbor Mike Lange. “There's plenty of kids. Several kids…probably, at times, double digit children in that house.”

Police arrested Houston Abernathy, Tara Cummings and Nicki Brown Tuesday night

Brown is the granddaughter of the house's 85-year-old owner.

The grandmother allowed us inside her house and told us where she suspected some of the needles came from.

“I'm a diabetic, and I have to take insulin. All my needles came up missing,” she said.

Diane Hague, who is Director of the Jefferson Alcohol and Drug Abuse Center operated by Seven Counties Services,  says she's seeing more cases of heroin abuse, especially among young parents

“They're spending a lot of their time using their drug, trying to get their drug. Being high on the drug,” said Hague.

Jeffrey Hash is one of them, who is currently seeking treatment.

“You're not able to be that parent you want to be. That's basically why I'm here today,” he said while standing outside a drug treatment center.

Hash says he’s lost his children as a result of drug abuse, which included using heroin.

The children from the home raided Tuesday were removed by Child Protective Services, and it's unclear what will happen to them next.

The suspects are still in jail, but for Brown there's one place she's always welcome once she's released.

“I take anybody in my house, my kids. I don't know what they do,” the home owner said.

Child protective services cannot comment on the case, since it is an open investigation involving juveniles.

We tried to interview the suspects today but they declined our request for an interview.

WHAS11 has learned that police visited a the home 36 times before Brown, Abernathy and Cummings were arrested.