Pauline Bilinski-Munion, a 56-year-old grandmother from Modena in Chester County, PA., was arrested after the 7-year-old grandson she was watching ended up taking at least nine bags of her heroin into his first grade classroom at Caln Elementary School in Thorndale, PA. on Friday. The grandmom is now looking at child endangerment and drug charges.
CBS Philly reported on May 5 that police said the grandmother left her heroin stash out in the open inside her home while she was watching her grandson and a one-year-old baby. Police also say that somewhere along the line, Bilinski-Munion “lost track of the heroin.”
Unbeknownst to the clueless grandma, her 7-year-old grandson scooped up her heroin and took it to school, where he gave some to another young student. One of the teachers at Caln Elementary caught wind of a story about one of her students having drugs on him. That conscientious teacher talked to the students and eventually “located nine bags of heroin in his pants pocket.”
The heroin was stamped 'Victoria Secret.'
Police say that the boy’s original story was that he found the drugs in the school yard. He later confessed and told investigators that the drugs came from his home. The first grader said that he found the bags of heroin “on the floor by the washing machine.”
Philly.com reported today that the 7-year-old usually lives in Coatesville with an aunt, but recently was living with his mom, dad and grandmother in the Modena home where his grandma admitted to police that she was an active heroin user. The grandmother told police that she found the heroin outside of her home and decided to keep the heroin "in case of an emergency." A search of the home turned up heroin bags, according to police.
And now the Coatesville Area School District is coming under fire from the Chester County District Attorney’s Office for how the school district handled notifying parents. The school district “told parents that a ‘dangerous and illegal’ substance was found in the grass and parents should check to see if their children had any."
The district didn't notify prosecutors, who learned about the heroin from media reports.
Thomas Hogan, the Chester County District Attorney said that the school’s notice was "late and vague," and contends that the school should have immediately contacted police and emergency personnel. Hogan released a statement saying in part:
“Heroin in an elementary school is a nightmare. Any exposure to heroin for a young child is likely to result in death. The defendant is lucky that she was not responsible for the death of her own grandson or somebody else’s child.”
Fortunately in this case, no harm from exposure to the heroin came to any of the children involved. Bilinski-Munion was finally arrested on Sunday - two full days after her grandson brought the heroin into his first grade classroom. The grandmother is being held at Chester County Prison and having difficulty coming up with the money to post her $25,000 cash bail.