Infant removed from parolee's home after found crawling near needle
SANTA BARBARA — A routine parole check by four police officers last week led to the discovery of an infant boy crawling over his mother’s drug-addled torso near a syringe.
The four officers were working the weekly felony parole check detail in downtown Santa Barbara on a typically postcard-perfect “chamber of commerce” day on April 19, when they visited the residence of Judith Zamora Lopez just after noon.
Lopez was on parole for convictions relating to the prior use of controlled narcotic substances. The four officers entered her downtown apartment complex with the intention of interviewing her and ascertaining that she was abiding by the terms of her parole as she had for several prior months. But as they approached her apartment unit, they passed by her living room window and immediately observed Lopez sprawled on the living room couch, unmoving.
Knocking on the apartment door, the officers were greeted by Louis Flores, 38, who had a hypodermic syringe in his left hand. Immediately detaining Flores, the officers observed Lopez to be unconscious with her 1-year-old infant son crawling over her face, within arm’s length of another syringe on the couch beside his mother.
Police spokesman Lt. Paul McCaffrey said “the mother had used her baby’s bib as a ‘tie’ prior to injecting heroin. It was a scene out of a bad movie.”
McCaffrey added that officers called the county’s Child Protective Services, which removed the infant from the home.
Evidence subsequently gathered at the scene included multiple syringes, 0.1 grams of heroin, cooking spoons, alcohol wipes, suboxone tablets, several plastic packages smelling of vinegar, and a large hunting knife — all items indicative of Lopez’s ongoing violation of parole terms. Both she and Flores have been booked on multiple illegal substance violations, parole violation and child endangerment, with bail set in excess of $100,000.