Parents-to-be should know that being a parent is something special, but it also means that parents’ lives change completely meaning that a lot of things done in the past will remain there. Being a parent means a lot of time and effort dedicated in rising the children, but most of all, a lot of responsibility that sometimes requires parents to be ‘victims’ in an effort to provide the best everyday environment for their loved ones.
Unfortunately, the 31-year-old M. Rickert, a mother of three minors all under 3 years, has probably never intended to change her behavior to provide the best for her children after it was discovered that all three of the children tested positive for cocaine. As soon as their tests came positive, Rickert was arrested and charged with three counts of child neglect.
According to WAGB that reported about this incident late May, Rickert brought her 15-month-old son to hospital in the early morning hours on May 10 asking doctors to help her child after she noticed that ‘the child was not acting normally.’ According to her claims, the child appeared to be lethargic and had a glazed look in his eyes when she was putting him to bed.
After doctors conducted all the necessary tests, it was discovered that the little boy had cocaine in his system and the hospital immediately called the local authorities reporting possible child abuse. When officers arrived to the hospital and asked her how the boy ended up positive on cocaine, Rickert was reportedly nothing but surprised. Per the criminal complaint, Rickert informed the officers that she had used drugs in the past, but that she had been sober since before the birth of her oldest child.
Initially, the mother said to the authorities she could only think of her mother’s brother-in-law, who she described as a person who uses a lot of medications, as he is among the few who visits her house and the children more frequently than others. But shortly after, she completely changed her story.
Rickert later admitted to authorities that she had “slipped up” and used cocaine as recently as Friday, May 6. The police officer’s testimony in the criminal complaint said that Rickert immediately became very emotional and appeared remorseful about her recent drug use. She remained adamant that her child’s exposure could not have possibly been from her, as she used cocaine at a friend’s house, and at no point brought drugs into her home. The 15-month-old’s positive cocaine test required Rickert’s two older children, 2 and 3 years old, to also take a drug test. Their tests also came positive on cocaine.
Per the incident report, Rickert was allowed to live in her mother’s Wisc. based house with her children and husband. When detectives asked the grandmother to take a drug test, she refused and she even didn’t allow the detectives to test the counter surfaces with a cocaine wipe. Rickert’s mother cited concerns that the drug testing and cocaine wipe possibly violated her rights. The Child Protective Services, however, later confirmed that Rickert’s mother tested positive on cocaine.
The father was also required to take a drug test and his initial test came negative, but he is suspected to bringing an old urine or someone else’s urine because it was not consistent with urine that had just come out of a body. The police informed the public they will require the father to take another drug test in the upcoming period, but until now, it’s unknown if he has taken another drug test.
Rickert has her next court appearance scheduled on June 22. If convicted, she might spend the next 10-and-a-half years in prison. In addition, she faces $30,000 in potential fines.