Family shocked after stolen car tests positive for an array of hard drugs when returned.
Stolen Car Returned
When one’s stolen vehicle is recovered by law enforcement in relatively good condition, it’s typically seen as a stroke of good luck.
After all, many stolen vehicles are either wrecked by joyriders or disassembled for illegal parts sales.
However, for the Culver family residing in Pierce County, Washington, this fortunate turn of events took a distressing turn.
The Culvers, who call Tacoma their home, had their 2002 Ford F-350 returned to them without any significant damage following its theft.
Mysterious Health Concerns
At first glance, this seemed like a happy ending to a troubling situation. Little did they know that their ordeal was far from over.
Soon after their prized vehicle was back in their possession, the Culver family began experiencing bizarre symptoms.
Jake Culver, the head of the family, noticed that his eight and ten year old children were suffering from sleep disruptions and upset stomachs.
He, too, began experiencing frequent headaches after the few drives they took together in their recently recovered truck. These mysterious health issues left the family bewildered and concerned.
It was during this perplexing time that a neighbor raised a crucial question: “Had we had it tested for drugs?” Jake Culver recalled. Puzzled by the inquiry, he replied, “No, why would we?”
Little did they know that their neighbor’s suggestion would uncover a deeply unsettling truth.
Stolen vehicles often find themselves in the hands of individuals who are breaking multiple laws, particularly in relation to illicit substances.
Jake Culver decided to take the neighbor’s advice and get their vehicle tested for potential damage, including drug contamination.
They employed the same company that their insurance typically used to test for biohazards, expecting the report to come back negative.
The results were shocking and deeply concerning. The test revealed that traces of methamphetamine exceeded the national safe exposure limits by eight times, and the dangerous synthetic opioid, fentanyl, was found to be two times higher than the acceptable levels.
Insurance Company Failed to Test
Jake Culver couldn’t contain his dismay when he shared the results with his wife. “My wife just broke down in tears when I told her the results of the test,” he said.
“My heart sank. If she had inhaled the fentanyl or something like that, I mean, who knows where we’d be right now.”
Blaming the insurance company for failing to test for illicit substance exposure inside the stolen truck, Jake Culver highlighted that the firm often conducts such evaluations.
Reversing Exposure Impossible
He expressed his disappointment, saying, “I expect the people paid to help us through these troubles would actually do their job, and that’s more shocking, frankly, than the drug use and the car theft.”
Although they couldn’t reverse the exposure their family had experienced, the Culvers hope their ordeal will serve as a cautionary tale for others in similar situations.
They strongly encourage people to go thorough testing whenever a stolen vehicle is recovered to protect families from potential exposure to harmful substances.
While the Culver family’s ordeal has a somewhat fortunate ending in that, they were exposed to the toxic residue of multiple drugs for only a week.
In nearby Seattle, the City Council made a controversial decision to vote against a law that would enable law enforcement to prosecute public drug use cases.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / DigitalFabiani
Source: NBC News