Mother, a child abuser, sought in ‘very disturbing’ case involving drugs
The Park City Police Department has added an admitted child abuser to its most wanted list after the woman failed to appear in court the day she was scheduled to be sentenced in a case that involved a boy being born with drugs in his system.
Constance Villa, who is 25 years old and was last known to live on the 1500 block of Park Avenue, faces a sentence of between one and 15 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine. She pleaded guilty in August to a second-degree felony count of child abuse. Three charges of child endangerment were dismissed. Her sentencing was scheduled in late October. A $25,000 arrest warrant was issued when she did not appear for the sentencing.
The Park City Police Department created a ‘Wanted’ flier and posted it on the department’s section of the City Hall website. She is 5 foot, 4 inches tall, weighs 130 pounds and has brown eyes and brown hair.
Prosecutors said in charging documents the child abuse count was filed after Villa gave birth to a boy in late 2011 who was found to have drugs in his system. The boy, identified in the charging documents as X.S., was born at the Park City Medical Center on Dec. 14, 2011. His birth weight was approximately 4 1/2 pounds, prosecutors said.
The charging documents, filed in Third District Court at Silver Summit, say the boy was born with medical conditions including respiratory distress. He was flown by a medical helicopter to the University of Utah Hospital to be treated, the prosecutors said.
According to the charging documents, blood was drawn from Villa and the boy. Villa was found to have cocaine, opiates, the active ingredient of marijuana and benzodiazepines in her system, prosecutors said. Benzodiazepines give people a euphoric feeling and can be used by addicts to counter side effects of cocaine, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The boy tested positive for opiates, the active ingredient of marijuana and benzodiazepines, the prosecutors said.
Villa told a social worker at the Park City Medical Center she smoked marijuana and took medicines like Vicodin and Xanax while she was pregnant, the charging documents said. They also indicated Villa told a state Division of Child and Family Services caseworker she was addicted to heroin, tried to stop using drugs while she was pregnant but could not quit.
The boy was in the neonatal intensive care unit at the University of Utah Hospital for approximately six weeks, the prosecutors said, describing a treatment that included giving him morphine to lessen the symptoms of drug withdrawal.
A doctor who treated the boy said he "may suffer long-term complications from being exposed to controlled substances in utero," the charging documents said. They said there could be developmental issues that might not been seen for two years or perhaps when the child starts kindergarten.
The state took custody of the boy and placed him in a foster home.
Joy Natale, the Summit County prosecutor who brought the case against Villa, said in an interview she is unsure of Villa’s whereabouts. She said she had information that Villa was in Ohio, but law enforcement there was unable to locate her. Villa’s parents are not sure where she is, Natale said.
"It’s very disturbing to me as a prosecutor that someone would do this to such a vulnerable child," Natale said.
Natale said she has been told the boy’s foster family is attempting to legally adopt him.
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The Park City government is not considering layoffs or staff furloughs through at least June 30, the end of the municipal fiscal year, the city manager said this week.