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updated: 6/15/2011 11:59 AM

Cops: Needles found in 3-year-old's crib

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  • Jason Tomblin

    Jason Tomblin

  • Ashley Merz

    Ashley Merz


A Grayslake couple have been charged after police found hypodermic needles in their child's crib and bags of heroin, pills and white powder spread around the bedroom, according to police.

Grayslake police showed up at the apartment on the 500 block of North Lake Street on June 7 to serve an unrelated warrant, and officers made "observations" in the unit leading them to request a search, police said.

Once inside the bedroom shared by 23-year-old Ashley L. Merz and 27-year-old Jason R. Tomblin, police discovered eight hypodermic syringes, some uncapped, in and around their 3-year-old son's crib, said Grayslake police Cmdr. Matt McCutcheon.

"Some were actually found in the crib, on the floor, around the crib, on a dresser," McCutcheon said. "I was told it was pretty messy."

Police also found white powder residue, a number of unidentified pills and cannabis paraphernalia along with beer cans and cigarette butts strewed across the room, McCutcheon said.

Police said Merz's mother holds the lease on the apartment, and her consent was enough to conduct the search.

McCutcheon said the 3-year-old does not permanently live at the residence but sleeps there regularly.

Both Merz and Tomblin are being held at the Lake County jail.

Merz was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and obstructing justice.

Tomblin was charged with obstruction of justice, destroying evidence and failure to appear in court.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is investigating the child's living conditions, but the state's attorney's office opted not to charge the two with child endangerment, McCutcheon said.

Further narcotics charges are possible pending a laboratory analysis of the suspected drugs, police said.