The parents of the 9-month-old girl official say died in a suspected drug house were back in court Wednesday, this time on charges related to trafficking methamphetamine.
Officials aren’t sure how Hailey Cambron died Monday morning and are awaiting the official autopsy and toxicology reports which could take four to six months.
Meanwhile, her parents, Helen Price, 30, and Stephen Cambron, 40, initially were charged with second-degree child cruelty, trafficking meth, possessing prescription pills and drug-related objects, but Cambron’s prescription pills and drug-related objects charges were dropped when Price claimed possession of the drugs.
During Wednesday’s hearing, police said an anonymous caller urged officers to investigate the shed where Price and Stephen Cambron allegedly were sleeping while their daughter slept inside with another couple that hasn’t been identified. The caller claimed the parents occasionally kept Hailey in that shed.
Cambron is no stranger to Columbus police and has been under surveillance for meth distribution for an unspecified amount of time, police said. Prior to Monday’s arrest, police received an email tip claiming Cambron still was selling meth from area motels, an agent told the court.
“Stephen Cambron was someone that we have gathered some information on in the past,” Special Operations Unit Captain Charles Kennedy said. “I don’t recall her name coming up until we came out on this, so she may have been trying to accept his charges to keep him out of trouble.”
The agent told the court police started searching the shed behind the 5119 Thomason Ave. house Monday morning after a family member asked for EMS services for the 9-month-old girl, who was found unresponsive in a bedroom. Hailey Cambron was pronounced dead at 10:45 a.m., though Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said she had been dead at least six hours before that.
Inside the shed, agents found two unspecified items commonly associated with production of meth, as well as a small quantity of finished product. After obtaining a search warrant, agents searched the shed and found 1.75 ounces of meth in a Ralph Lauren bag, along with a digital scale and numerous ziplock baggies. The meth was valued at $4,590.
“They did find from some precursors for making meth, but there was not a meth lab found on the premises,” Kennedy said. “So (Cambron) was either making it somewhere else or getting it from someone else.”
The agent told the court law enforcement also found numerous metal spoons in the shed, as well as 15 hydrocodone pills and two smoking devices. In a bedroom inside the house, they found a digital scale and metal spoons.
Price told Judge Michael Cielinski on Wednesday the drug-related objects and meth were hers, saying Cambron never set foot in the shed before that day.
“He fell asleep in a recliner, and he had to come where I was and I was in the shed,” she said. “Everything was mine and nothing was his. Nothing.”
Price also disputed the anonymous caller’s claims during the hearing.
“No, my baby was not kept in the shed,” she said. “Everything was in the shed; that’s why I kept a lock on it. She was never around anything in the shed.”
During Tuesday’s hearing, Williams said the infant was left in the house with another couple, who also admitted to smoking an unknown amount of meth while they babysat the child. Price told police she started smoking meth at 7 p.m., and did not return to the house until the following morning when her friends discovered the child was dead.
Hailey Cambron was still alive when her grandmother checked on her around 1:30 a.m., Bryan said Tuesday. Police found several items in the couple’s bedroom that was tainted with meth.
Cielinski set no bond for the trafficking meth charge for both Price and Stephen Cambron during Wednesday’s hearing. They each were given Tuesday a $25,000 bond for the child cruelty charge.