Written by Keith Blackmar, Public Information Officer, WCSO Friday, 09 March 2012 22:41
The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 29-year-old Crawfordville man in connection with the production of methamphetamines at his home, according to Sheriff Donnie Crum.
In addition, the suspect was charged with two counts of child abuse without great harm after detectives discovered chemicals used to produce methamphetamines near the bedroom occupied by two young children.
Lawrence Wilbur Cook II was arrested March 1 and was released March 2 after posting a $3,500 bond.
The case investigation began on Feb. 19 when sheriff’s office deputies were called to the suspect’s home to investigate an unattended death complaint. Sgt. Ronald Mitchell arrived on scene and observed a 31-year-old female victim hanging from a rope in a tree.
WCSO investigators attended the victim’s autopsy and it was determined that no foul play had taken place, but methamphetamine use had taken place during the evening before the victim was discovered.
During the course of the death investigation, Lt. C.L. Morrison and Sgt. Ronald Mitchell entered the home to get Cook a requested jacket and discovered the home in disarray and a meth lab set up inside. Drug paraphernalia and a white powdery substance, believed to be meth, was discovered inside the home.
A cooler was discovered next to the children’s bedroom. The bedroom contained two young children, ages 6 and 11. The cooler contained indications of a past meth cook or the preparation of a meth cook. Investigators also discovered fuel at the scene consistent with the cooking of meth.
In the following days, Detective Rob Giddens and Sgt. Eddie Wester inspected the cooler and determined that it contained several chemicals and equipment commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine. A small amount of suspected meth was tested and produced a positive test for the presence of meth. Evidence was collected and submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for additional analysis.
Due to the hazardous nature of the chemicals used to produce meth and the toxic threat to individuals exposed to the chemicals, the Florida Department of Children and Families was contacted to insure the juveniles were medically screened for possible exposure to chemical mixtures during the manufacturing process.
Cook was charged with two counts of cruelty toward a child: abuse without great harm and one count of manufacture of methamphetamine. Cook turned himself in to the Wakulla County Jail on March 1 without incident. Deputy Mike Zimba, Lt. Steve Ganey, Detective Nick Boutwell, Captain Cliff Carroll, CSI Rae Eddens, Deputy Nick Gray, PSO Sabrina Roberts, Wakulla EMS and Fire Department personnel also assisted at the scene.
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