Mother cleared after 5-year-old's positive cocaine test was ruled a mistake

Posted at 5:47 PM, May 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-19 11:19:36-04

The Detroit mother arrested this week after police said her 5-year-old son tested positive for cocaine has been cleared.

Children’s Hospital tells 7 Action News it was all a big mistake. There was a system error made with the the test.

Starla McCray has been released from jail, reunited with her son and no charges will be filed. 

However, she believes the damage to her reputation as a parent has already been done. 

The 37-year-old made headlines news, not just here in metro Detroit. News outlets picked up the story across the country.

McCray says she brought her 5-year-old son to Children’s Hospital to get him screened for ADHD, telling 7 Action News she had concerns that something could be wrong.

Then Starla says all hell broke loose, after little Malik was tested and the test came back positive for cocaine. 

Starla was shocked by the results and then just as surprised when she arrested. 

“After 36 hours they had to let me go, as I’m walking out. The Lieutenant waiting on me apologized to me and said Children’s called him and said the results was a mistake,” says McCray. 

McCray obviously says she is hurt, upset, humiliated and embarrassed by every step of the matter. 

“I’m just trying to remain claim for myself, for my child and get redemption on my name,” she says.

Children’s Hospital has apologized to her for its mistake and explained to her what went wrong, though now she wants the institution to share it with the masses. 

The hospital has released the following statement:

Detroit Medical Center takes its responsibility to our pediatric patients and their families very seriously. Our lab team and our hospital leaders are deeply sorry for the unfortunate situation that occurred as a result of a testing error.

We have communicated the error to authorities and have reached out to the family to express our sincere apologies and to confirm that our staff sought out to act in what they believed to be the best interest of the child.

Tonita Cheatham, Director of Communications, DMC

When asked where Starla will go from here, she doesn’t know. Though she says there is a lot of healing to be done.

“I’m just completely hurt by all of this and I just want the world to know, I would never hurt my son and the way I’ve been treated, like I’m the worst parent in he world. My son is my life,” she says nearly tearfully. 

This mother says getting her son the help he needs is still her first priority.

Starla just hopes that everyone who told the initial story or shared it, will do the same with this one too.