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Cops: Dad tries to kill son, 4, with heroin

  • Washington state father accused of trying to kill son on day his divorce was supposed to be finalized
  • Eric Emil Lehtinen, 37, charged with attempted first-degree murder
  • Unknown if child will have long-term effects or damage from the overdose, police say
Cops: Dad tries to kill son, 4, with heroin

A Washington state father is accused of trying to kill his 4-year-old son with heroin on the day his divorce was supposed to be finalized, according to a probable cause statement.

Eric Emil Lehtinen, 37, is charged with attempted first-degree murder in connection with last week’s overdose of his young son at his Redmond home.

Court documents state that Lehtinen’s estranged wife, Saradia Lehtinen, made a hysterical phone call to 911 on September 24 after discovering her husband and their 4-year-old son unresponsive in bed. The mother told authorities she saw a syringe on her son’s chest and needle pointed toward his neck.

While the boy was at a children’s hospital undergoing treatment for a drug overdose, court documents state, medical staff located puncture wounds on his body, indicating recent needle sticks.

“One wound was located on the left side of his neck and multiple wounds were located on his buttocks,” authorities said in court documents.

An initial toxicology screen of the boy’s blood showed the presence of heroin, ketamine, morphine, codeine and other drugs, according to investigators.

“It is unknown at this time if he [the child] has long-term effects or damage from the overdose,” court documents state.  

A search warrant executed at Eric Lehtinen's home revealed seven syringes containing liquid believed to be illegal drugs inside the bedroom where the incident occurred, police said in court documents. Additionally, investigators say they found three used syringes in the bedroom, a burnt spoon with residue, multiple scales and $12,620 in cash.

During an interview with detectives, Saradia Lehtinen told investigators that she and her husband had been married for nearly six years, but were in the process of getting a divorce. Until 10 days before the incident, the mother and her son were living with family in San Francisco, while Eric Lehtinen remained at his home in Redmond.

Despite Eric Lehtinen’s request for a delay, the couple’s divorce was expected to be finalized on the day of the overdoses.

Saradia Lehtinen told authorities she was in Washington state at the time of the incident for a job interview and dropped her son off with his father on the night of September 23.

The mother told authorities that, while her husband had been a tar heroin and ketamine user in the past, she didn’t know he had started to use drugs again, according to court documents.

Eric Lehtinen “is a man who is willing to inject his 4-year-old son with heroin in an attempt to kill the boy…a dangerous man willing to do anything,” prosecutors said in the documents.

The King County Public Defender’s Office told HLN Lehtinen has not been assigned an attorney yet.

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