Child Abuse Suspect Sought – 23-month-old child hospitalized after testing positive for methamphetamine / Silent Witness offering $500 reward
On September 30, 2019, a detective from the Criminal Investigations Bureau was assigned to investigate a case involving a 23-month-old child who tested positive for methamphetamine. The suspect has been identified as 56-year-old Delbert Wayne Harvey from Chino Valley. Detectives have probable cause to arrest Harvey for charges including Child Abuse, Possession of a Dangerous Drug and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Background – In the afternoon of September 30, 2019, deputies were dispatched to the Yavapai Regional Medical Center in Prescott regarding a child testing positive for methamphetamine. The child’s parents were interviewed at the hospital and explained that their 23-month-old son was left in the care of Harvey while they were working. Harvey is the child’s grandfather. Around 11:30 AM that morning, Harvey sent a text to the child’s mother indicating something was wrong with her child, so she returned home immediately. She noticed the child was not acting normally, possibly having a seizure, and eventually admitted him to the hospital. After determining the child tested positive for drugs, he was transported to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The child had been staying with Harvey in his travel trailer parked on their Chino Valley property.
Based on the background information involving Harvey’s known drug history, along with the fact the child was acting normally before both parents left for work and was only in the custody and care of Harvey that morning, detectives sought and obtained a search warrant for Harvey’s travel trailer. Detectives noted there was no indication either parent had any role in causing their child to test positive for illicit drugs.
Detectives searched Harvey’s trailer and found numerous items of drug paraphernalia and a usable quantity of methamphetamine. Harvey had fled the scene before the arrival of detectives. Another family member, who had met with Harvey at the home after learning about the child’s hospitalization, mentioned that Harvey changed his story several times when questioned as to how the child became ill.
Detectives have not confirmed exactly how the child ingested methamphetamine, but based on the physical evidence found inside the trailer where the child had spent the morning with Harvey, they have determined this environment was the source.
After several days, the child was released from the hospital and his condition is improving.
Several attempts to locate Harvey have been unsuccessful, including phone calls.
Hospital staff noted at the time, “This child requires critical care services because he has, or is at risk of imminent or life threatening deterioration from drug withdrawal.”
If anyone has information on the whereabouts of Harvey, please contact detective Mark Yates at 928-777-7273. If you wish to remain anonymous and become eligible for a cash reward should the tip lead to Harvey’s arrest, call Yavapai Silent Witness at 1800-932-3232.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260.