1-year-old dies days after police say she ingested white substance

Published 5:57 pm Monday, May 22, 2023

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PORT ARTHUR — The Port Arthur Police Department announced Monday afternoon that a 1-year-old girl had died after suffering a cardiac arrest last week following exposure to what is believed to be a controlled substance.

A release sent out at approximately 5:33 p.m. Monday by Det. Ahmaal Bodden said local police received a call from Texas Children’s in Houston on Thursday advising all efforts to resuscitate the toddler failed.

“The 1-year-old was later pronounced dead at the hospital,” Bodden said.

The exact date and time of the death were not shared.

Police previously told Port Arthur Newsmedia Thursday that the toddler was receiving treatment in a Houston after ingesting an illegal substance while in the care of her mother on Mother’s Day.

The child’s mother, 30-year old Ava Chambers, was arrested and charged with injury to a child on May 14. Bond for the charge was set at $15,000 and she also had a warrant for possession of a controlled substance with a bond of $3,000.

She bonded out of jail May 15, according to a spokesperson with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Port Arthur Police Chief Tim Duriso said police believe the incident occurred at Normandy Apartments. A call was made to 9-1-1 regarding a 1-year-old at Exceptional Emergency Center in Port Arthur, where the child was suspected of having been exposed to what is believed to be an illegal substance.

It was reported the young girl was found holding a small, clear bag and having a white substance around the nose, which resulted in cardiac arrest, according to information from PAPD.

The child was taken to The Medical Center of Southeast Texas and later to a hospital in Houston.

On Thursday, Shari Pullium, with the Department of Family and Protective Services, said office officials are working the case alongside law enforcement.