Dead Boy's Custodial Mother Arrested on Drug Charges
As the investigation continues into the death of a 2-year-old boy at a campground near Sedona, Ariz., this past July, Yavapai County Sheriff's detectives on Monday (Dec. 6) arrested the boy's custodial mother on drug charges, the Prescott Daily Courier reported.
YCSO announced Monday that Christina Priem, 36, is in custody in the Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde on three counts of involving a minor in a drug offense. Authorities arrested Priem in Flagstaff.
Priem was the caretaker of 2-year-old Sylar Newton, whom she reported missing this past July from the Beaver Creek Campground. In August, Sylar's remains were found near the area.
Monday's arrest results from the ongoing investigation into Sylar's disappearance and death. Detectives are not yet releasing the specific charging details regarding the counts against Priem.
Sylar went to the Beaver Creek Campgrounds with Priem, Priem's two children, a family friend and Priem's mother, Nancy Collins, on July 23. Priem said she last saw Sylar at 12:30 a.m. on July 25 in a tent with the family, and discovered him missing at 1:45 a.m.
A family member called the Sedona Fire Department about 15 minutes later. The campground host called the sheriff's office at 2:30 a.m. and deputies arrived about 30 minutes later.
A massive search began to find Sylar, who left wearing only a diaper. DNA tests on human remains found less than two miles from the campground this past August confirmed Sylar's identity, according to the YCSO in October.
Witnesses at the campground in July told detectives Sylar appeared as if he was under the influence of a narcotic or medication, police spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said at the time.
On Monday, D'Evelyn couldn't say if there is a connection between pending toxicology reports on Sylar and Priem's arrest on drug charges.
"They're still in the review and have not been released. That's part of this ongoing case," he said of the pending results, adding that the results are expected to be released "fairly soon."