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Two disturbing cases of kids exposed to drugs in same community

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By Jill Glavan

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Nov. 7, 2014) -- Police have a message to the community, following two disturbing cases this week of kids being exposed to drug use.

In the first, prosecutors charged Brandon Abbott with causing the deaths of his twin three-year-old boys in April.

Abbott's house caught fire in Tippecanoe County, right next door to Jim Smith.

"For about a month after that, the Sheriff's Department and Fire Department kept coming by and taking stuff out. Probably evidence," Smith said.

Court paperwork revealed that witnesses described Abbott using a propane torch to smoke marijuana wax. Investigators determined a propane explosion caused the fire.

Also described in the paperwork is a house where drug sales and drug use were commonplace.

"Officers found baggies, weights for a scale, a pill grinder ... (and) a plastic candy container with several types of pills. ... (Also) a torch lighter, assorted ammunition and a loaded .22 caliber Berretta handgun," the paperwork detailed.

Incredibly, that's not the only sickening case to hit home in Lafayette this week.

Last weekend, at the Knights Inn, police arrested five adults for doing drugs with four kids in the room, all under the age of seven. They found heroin, methamphetamine, synthetic marijuana, syringes and drug paraphernalia, along with the "precursors" of a meth lab.

"I wouldn't say it's out of the ordinary, but to find that volume and variety of drugs is kind of unusual," Lafayette Police Lt. Brian Gossard said.

In fact, Gossard said these two cases, while extreme, do point to something police see too often.

"We have seen a lot of drug use by adults that are supposed to be supervising children," Gossard said.

So, he has a message to the community to pay attention and come forward. It was an anonymous tip that took police to the hotel room, potentially saving four kids from an even more dangerous situation. You can report and remain anonymous.

"It’s important for us to intervene when we have the opportunity and try to kind of break that cycle," Gossard said.

In Lafayette, you can call the We-Tip hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME.