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Where boy found heroin still a mystery

Two mysteries have surrounded the puzzling June 12 incident of a 5-year-old boy taking a 10-pack of heroin into a West Side day care center:

Where did the heroin come from?

And why did the little boy's mother undergo two drug tests, as she revealed in several interviews with reporters?

Three weeks after the incident, Buffalo police say no arrest is imminent, although they continue to search for the source of the drug.

"In light of the facts we have to date, there doesn't appear to be any likelihood of an arrest in the immediate future," Chief of Detectives Dennis J. Richards said this week.

The attorney for the little boy's mother, Kari Lyn Lee, revealed that she took the two drug tests to clear her name in a pair of investigations -- one for the June 12 incident, the other for a previous investigation by child-protection officials.

"I have no information to lead me to believe my client had anything to do with the child getting the heroin," attorney Kenneth W. Gibbons said Tuesday. "She has absolutely no drug history. There's no history of drug treatment and no history of arrest."

Smiley faces were stamped onto the drug packets the boy picked up, and detectives hope that could help them solve the mystery of the heroin's origin.

The little boy took the drug into the YWCA Schoolhouse Commons day-care center on Grant Street, where he, his little sister and another child later tested positive for the drug.

"If we found the smiley-faced heroin in a drug raid, we would try to connect the dots and see if that was the same batch of drugs," Richards said.

The chief of detectives conceded, though, that even if it were the same batch, it still would be difficult to make a direct connection to the heroin taken into the day care center.

So do police believe the claim that the little boy found the heroin on his way to the Grant Street day care?

"I don't think there's any reason at this point in time to discount the claim that the child found this heroin in a public area," Richards said.

Detectives are well aware of the public suspicion surrounding the boy's parents, Lee and her husband, Wayne Clamp, of Black Rock. Those suspicions were heightened when the boy and his three siblings were placed in the care of their grandmother following the incident.

"People will draw their own conclusions, but we work within the framework of the law," Richards said.

Gibbons said Child Protective Services was already investigating the family, following a hotline complaint someone made about a month before the heroin incident.

Agency officials went to the family and asked Lee to take a drug test, her attorney said. She complied. Then after the June 12 incident, a friend suggested she take another drug test, which she did.

Both drug tests came back clean, as Lee told reporters.

Gibbons claimed that CPS officials found no evidence of any wrongdoing by the family in connection with the anonymous complaint.

Following the June 12 incident, authorities took the four children out of their home, pending further Family Court action on what's considered a neglect case against the parents.

e-mail: gwarner@buffnews.com

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