Elementary School Teacher's 7-Year-Old Tests Positive for Meth

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) - Court documents for the Las Cruces mother whose 7-year-old son tested positive for meth last month show that she is a teacher at Sunrise Elementary School in Las Cruces.

Melanie Merlot, 32, has been charged with child abuse, possession of a controlled substance and use or possession of drug paraphernalia along with her boyfriend, 37-year-old Skip H. Valenzuela.

Documents show that Merlot had part-time custody of her two children, including a 7-year-old boy whose hair tested positive for methamphetamine on April 7, 2017. CPS later asked the boy's father to consent to a test, which came back negative.

Merlot, however, declined taking the drug test. CPS later interviewed the two children and Merlot's daughter advised them that Merlot and her boyfriend often go into the bathroom together and an odor comes out of the bathroom that the girl could not identify.

LCPD was notified of the incident and conducted a search warrant on the apartment in the 2700 block of Roadrunner Parkway where Merlot lives with Valenzuela. During the execution of the warrant, LCPD located foils with black residue in the master bathroom, a loaded syringe with brownish liquid suspected of being heroin. Two small Ziploc baggies with residue were found in the master bedroom.

A spoon with black tar substance in it was also found in the master closet according to court documents. The substance is also believed to be heroin. Seven packets of suboxone (a narcotic pain reliever) was found in the master closet. In addition to all of these items, a glass pipe with white residue was also found in the kitchen.

Court documents show that Merlot is a teacher who works at Sunrise Elementary School in Las Cruces. Officials with LCPS declined to comment on whether Merlot was still working or was on any sort of administrative leave.


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