A couple in Omaha, Nebraska, is being accused of giving their 12-year old daughter hallucinogenic mushrooms. Police say Christopher and Cynthia Ewerdt were detained on Wednesday after their young daughter told authorities that she was given the drug for religious purposes.
The girl claims that her parents gave her psilocybin (sihl-oh-SY'-bin) mushrooms on Tuesday evening. She was discovered by police after she took the drugs, left her home, ventured into a creek and then walked through the mud. She was discovered outside of a hotel, bewildered and crying. WOWT.com reports:
The couple were the Resident Managers at their apartment complex...
"You have no idea," said neighbor Jacob Worley. "We've seen them for 4 years, and we were oblivious to what was going on. We had no idea, no signs of anything."
WOWT Channel 6 News spoke with Cynthia's mother in person. She said she was totally shocked and didn't believe her daughter was like that. She also said she wasn't aware of the couple going to church.
Authorities claim that the drug, which profoundly impacts the mind and body, was found growing inside the couple's home. The U.S. Department of Justice has more on the dangers of using the drug:
Use of psilocybin is associated with negative physical and psychological consequences. The physical effects, which appear within 20 minutes of ingestion and last approximately 6 hours, include nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, drowsiness, and lack of coordination. [...]
The psychological consequences of psilocybin use include hallucinations and an inability to discern fantasy from reality. Panic reactions and psychosis also may occur, particularly if a user ingests a large dose.
As a result of the incident, the girl's parents were arrested on child abuse and manufacturing a controlled substance and she has been placed in protective custody. Officials say the Ewerdts are in the Douglas County jail on no bond.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.