Ashley Estepp, the 23-year-old Palm Coast mother of a young boy was charged with felony child neglect and booked at the Flagler County jail Sunday after she turned herself in after she’d been sought for three and a half months.
Authorities had been investigating Estepp in May and June over an incident that took place in late May, but she walked out of Project WARM–Women Assisting Recovering Mothers, the rehabilitation program at the Vince Carter Sanctuary in Bunnell–and had been “unable to be contacted,” according to the charging affidavit. Her son had been in protective custody with the Department of Children and Families.
Estepp had taken her son to Florida Hospital Flagler’s emergency room on May 20 when she told ER staff that she feared he had gotten into her prescription pills and taken a Dialudid, a powerful and highly addictive narcotic. A urine test, standard procedure at the ER, revealed that the child tested positive for cocaine.
Estepp told a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy that she had been at her mother’s at 87 Patric Drive in Palm Coast for the previous three or four days, staying in a room of her own, with her son. She “admitted to being an addict with heroin being her drug of choice,” the arrest report states. When asked if she used cocaine, she told the deputy that she “never used it,” but later told a DCF investigator that she had smoked crack cocaine with her mother five days before, in her mother’s backyard–a claim her mother denied. (Her mother was subsequently tested in a surprise visit by DCF, tested positive for pot, prescribed Benzos, amphetamines and methadone, according to the report.)
When Estepp submitted to a urinalysis at the hospital, she tested positive for cocaine and methadone. The sheriff’s department was still investigating the case when Estepp walked out of Project WARM sometime in June.
Estepp posted bail on $5,000 bond and was released. The child neglect charge is a third-degree felony.
I hope she gets the help she needs.
South Florida says
It doesn’t surprise me around here. This is the thing, their all here in palm coast. Never seen so much of this till I came here.
Just…. W T F
Palm Coast rocks says
OMG get with the program. You have a child to raise. Prayers to you and your family🙏💗
Just the truth says
Mother and daughter doing drugs together, how special is that, they both need to be charged.
Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
The whole story just makes me sick and innocent child life is endangered and way to go they both made mother of the year. They all need mental help as well as rehab and I’m glad that child is not in their custody.
Could care less about mom and Gma, get the kid out of their sphere of influence. Losers all the way around
Patricia Brown says
Addiction is a brain disease! It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain, its structure and how it works. I have family members that are recovering addicts doing well with support and help. We should all be asking what we can do to help rather than tearing down someone with this horrible disease. By the grace of god we are fortunate not to have this disease of addiction.
She should never be allowed to go back to live with Mom again if she manages to get back custody of her child.
P section again!
city of misfits, she probably has one of those decals on her vehicle that proudly say Fla/Home Grown
At the end of the day, drug addiction is caused by a choice. She CHOSE to do drugs and in turn got addicted. This is not a brain disease. This is a choice. Please lets stop with the excuses already.