LOCAL NEWS

2-year-old tests positive for THC, Tooele in-home day care faces possible child endangerment charge

Dec 28, 2023, 7:36 PM | Updated: Jan 5, 2024, 7:55 am

TOOELE — A home day care owner in Tooele is facing a possible child endangerment charge after a 2-year-old girl got sick while in her care and later tested positive for THC.

According to a report obtained by KSL TV, the Tooele Police Department has referred a child endangerment charge against the day care’s owner, Becky Elwood, who owns Little Rays of Sunshine, a state-licensed in-home child care center in Tooele.

The mother of 2-year-old Laylah, Alyssa Martinez, told KSL TV that when she went to pick up her daughter from Elwood’s home on Nov. 1, Laylah was lethargic, limp and unresponsive.

Emergency responders rushed Laylah to the hospital, where doctors found THC in her system. She was then taken to Primary Children’s Hospital for further care.

Primary Children’s notified the Tooele Police Department and the Utah Department of Child and Family Services of the incident.

Two-year-old Lyalah Martinez in the hospital where she tested positive for THC after her time at Little Rays of Sunshine.

Two-year-old Laylah Martinez was in the hospital, where she tested positive for THC after her time at Little Rays of Sunshine. (Courtesy: Alyah Martinez)

According to the police report, a detective and DCFS visited Elwood’s home and spoke with Becky Elwood and her daughter, Abigail, who was caring for Laylah. Abigail describes that Laylah “was acting weird after naptime, which ends at 2 p.m.”

“Ms. Elwood stated that she would not tell me names because she thinks it’s against her confidentiality, but knows that some of the parents of the other children consume marijuana,” the police detective wrote.

Abigail told police that she believed that the kids ate Smarties and Cheerios for their afternoon snack and that the kids had hot dogs for lunch. But she did not know how Laylah may have gotten ahold of the drug. Abigail also reported to the police that all the children ate the snacks, and no one else got sick.

According to the police report, Becky Elwood thinks the THC came into her home through another child’s diaper bag.

Alyssa Martinez believes that the Elwoods are responsible for her daughter ingesting the drug because investigators told her that Becky Elwood has a medical marijuana card.

Investigators can’t say yet where the drug came from or how the child ingested it. Tooele police would not confirm to KSL TV whether Becky Elwood had a medical marijuana card, citing medical privacy.

Police have referred a child endangerment charge against the owner of Little Rays of Sunshine, a state-licensed in-home childcare center in Tooele. (KSL TV)

The report’s medical information is redacted, but it states that Abigail confirmed, and Becky Elwood admitted to using marijuana in the home. Becky Elwood showed police detectives where she kept it, which was under a child lock in a bedroom. Police reported no marijuana in the home, no smell or obvious signs of it.

Becky Elwood also admitted to detectives that another daughter, Savannah, used marijuana “in the garage or outside.” Police also wrote that Becky Elwood told them she felt “horrible” about what happened to Laylah.

As for how the drug got into the house and how Laylah got ahold of it?

“That’s something that we don’t have any definitive proof either way on that,” Tooele police Lt. Jeremy Hansen said. “(Becky Elwood) is claiming that she believes that it came in through one of the children’s diaper bags. But there again, we have no way to cooperate (sic) that in any way.”

Hansen said police are referring charges to Tooele County prosecutors because they say both parties stated that Laylah was fine when she was dropped off and developed the symptoms that were later determined to be from marijuana while in Elwood’s care.

Tooele police say that Elwood’s home had another drug offense from 2019 for a juvenile. Becky Elwood admitted in a police report that it was Savannah.

Becky Elwood declined to comment when KSL TV made contact at her door.

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2-year-old tests positive for THC, Tooele in-home day care faces possible child endangerment charge