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The original item was published from 9/7/2016 3:35:01 PM to 12/10/2016 5:15:03 PM.

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District Attorney

Posted on: September 7, 2016

[ARCHIVED] 2-Year-Old Boy Survives Drinking Pipe Cleaner when Mother Left Him Alone


A Quarryville mother is charged with leaving her young children alone in a barn in July when her 2-year-old son drank pipe cleaner.

The 2-year-old sustained life-threatening internal burns on July 26, according to doctors who treated him at Lehigh Valley Hospital.

The boy was flown there after drinking the pipe cleaner, which was stored in a dairy barn, where he and his siblings were left unsupervised that morning.

Katie Zook, 29, admitted to state police Trooper Linda Gerow to leaving the children alone in the barn on the Drytown Road farm for at least an hour.

Gerow charged Zook on Tuesday with a misdemeanor count of endangering a child. Assistant District Attorney Christopher Sarno approved the charge being filed.

Zook was notified of the charges Tuesday. Her next court date is yet to be scheduled.

Zook told Gerow that it was common for her children to be left alone and she “does not intend to change as a result of this incident,” according to an arrest affidavit written by Gerow.

The three other children left alone in the barn were 4, 5, and 6.

There were other chemicals in the barn, including liquid acid and powdered soap. The pipe cleaner is used to clean milk lines of the dairy operation.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041;; Twitter: @BrettHambright

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