FORTVILLE — Two children have been placed in foster care after a caseworker reported their home smelled so strongly of marijuana, the stench made him sick, according to court documents.

A representative from the Indiana Department of Child Services called police Monday evening, saying he felt ill and dizzy from the strong smell of marijuana inside the house he’d visited, court records state.

Two elementary school-aged children were living at the home and were there when police arrived. Officers noted in their reports the smell of pot coming from inside the apartment was overpowering, according to court documents.

Tabitha Goodwin, 32, 325 E. Staat St., Apt. C, Fortville, was taken into custody on charges of neglect and drug possession.

Police say Goodwin cooperated with their investigation, pointing out all the places she hid her drugs and saving officers the trouble of having to search the place, court documents state.

The state caseworker contacted law enforcement after visiting Goodwin’s home and meeting with her family. The caseworker told police he’d left the meeting early because the odor was making him feel sick, court documents state.

Fortville Police Department officers arrived and asked Goodwin for permission to search her home, which she granted. The officers told Goodwin that the search of her home could be extensive, but if she “informed (police) where the narcotics were, that could be favorable to the outcome of the investigation,” court documents state.

Goodwin obliged and showed officers a round tin she kept atop her refrigerator. Inside the tin, police found 2.2 grams of marijuana along with two unused and eight used marijuana cigarettes, court documents state.

The tin also contained drug paraphernalia, including rolling papers and a glass pipe, court records state.

Goodwin also pointed officers to a hallway closet, where they found another 5.2 grams of marijuana in a plastic baggy that was hidden between sets of folded sheets, according to charging documents.

All the evidence was photographed and confiscated, and Goodwin was arrested, court documents state.

Police said the children would have had easy access to the drugs, court documents state.

The charges filed against Goodwin are: two Level 6 felony counts of neglect of a dependent; one Level 6 felony count of maintaining a common nuisance; and one Class B misdemeanor of possession of marijuana.

Each Level 6 felony count carries a maximum penalty of 2½ years in prison, while the misdemeanor Goodwin faces carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail.

Goodwin was being held in the Hancock County Jail on a $2,500 cash bond at press time.

Author photo
Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or