CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Believing he may have been under the influence at the time, State Police arrested a Lincoln County man whose 2-year-old daughter nearly drown in a bathtub.
Jason David Riffe, 34, was arrested Monday and charged with felony counts of child neglect resulting in serious injury and child neglect creating the risk of injury.
State Police began investigating after the girl was flown from her father's Harts home on July 13 to Cabell Huntington Hospital. She remained in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit there for several days but has been released, a secretary at the Hamlin detachment said.
He told troopers he ran a bath about three to three-and-a-half inches deep for her. He then went into the bedroom for 20 to 30 seconds to get a towel but heard a noise and returned to the bathroom, according to a complaint filed in Lincoln Magistrate Court.
That's when he found his daughter lying in the bathtub on her side. He tried to perform CPR, and then went to the yard and yelled for help, the complaint said. His aunt was across the street and heard his calls and called 911.
The toddler was flown via HealthNet to Huntington. Doctors there told troopers there was "no probable way" her injuries could have occurred the way Riffe claimed, the complaint said.
Jessica Nicholson, Riffe's girlfriend and the girl's mother, told troopers Riffe has a history of being a drug user. She said while at the hospital she noticed he repeatedly fell asleep and appeared to be under the influence.
She said Riffe has made meth at the home on multiple occasions, according to the complaint.
Riffe allegedly said in a conversation with Child Protective Services workers that he'd taken a Xanax, anti-anxiety medication, given to him at the hospital by a family member. CPS workers told troopers Riffe appeared to be under the influence when they went to the home for a visit the next day. He told them then a family member gave him two Xanax and he'd taken another before the worker arrived, the complaint said.
State Police still are investigating.
Riffe was released Thursday from Western Regional Jail on bond.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.