Great-grandmother of child in viral overdose photo says he's a happy little boy

EAST LIVERPOOL (WJW) - A little boy who was seen in a viral photo sitting in the backseat of an SUV while two adults overdosed in the front seat had a great upbringing, according to his great-grandmother.

Barbara McCullough, 84, spoke exclusively with Fox 8 News, saying she raised the little boy for most of his life, but that his grandmother, Rhonda Pasek, was recently awarded custody because of McCullough's age.

The child's mother battled with drug use, that is why McCullough was awarded custody when he was a baby.

His grandmother, 50-year-old Pasek, was the woman passed out in the front seat of the car, along with a male friend, 47-year-old James Acord.

Click below to see the photo that went viral and an interview with McCullough:

Great-grandma of boy in viral heroin picture speaks out
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Great-grandma of boy in viral heroin picture speaks out
Photo: WJW
Photo: WJW
Photo: WJW
Photo: WJW
Photo: WJW

McCullough said she is very upset that people believe the child was raised in that kind of environment.

"With the idea this child has lived like this daily, that's what East Liverpool Police said."

She wants people to know that he's a happy little boy and that she and her family in East Liverpool will visit him in Myrtle Beach where he will now be living with his great-aunt and great-uncle.

McCullough said the little boy doesn't fully know what happened that day, but he knows something was wrong.

Police initially posted the photos on their Facebook page, hoping it would send a message to drug users.

Pasek is awaiting trial and Acord is already serving 360 days in jail for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and endangering children.

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