July 11, 2007 -- Texas authorities will conduct drug tests on a toddler appearing in an online video to determine whether the girl may have been given the drug Ecstasy and whether any criminal charges should be filed.
A second child -- a baby -- included in the same footage, as well as the teenagers and adults who joked on the tape about the toddler being high on the powerful street drug, also face drug testing, Lt. John Martin of the Harris County Sheriff's Office told ABC News.
The drug tests will be performed by Texas Child Protective Services, which has taken over the bulk of the case, according to Martin. The FBI's Houston field office, which helped identify the young women in the video, remains involved in the investigation.
"If the children don't test positive but the other people do, that may raise concerns that they were exposed to some type of drug activity even if they were not directly exposed to it," Martin said.
Both young children are staying with relatives while the drug tests are conducted, Martin said.
Authorities said Tuesday that the women in the video deny that the child was given any type of drug.
"Their story is basically that they told the little girl to act that way, and they were basically filming her doing what they said," Martin said.
In the disturbing video, a girl roughly 2 years old sits huddled on the floor in the back seat of a minivan, her eyes rolling back in her head as the young women in the car tease, laugh and poke at her. At times, she looks unresponsive to a teen playing with her face and sticking iPod speakers in her ears.
At least four females, who appear to be in their teens or early 20s, are captured on tape laughing at the little girl as she sits stone-faced throughout most of the 2½ minute clip. The second child, also not wearing a seat belt, can be seen in the back seat of the vehicle.
"She's taking that hit like a soldier," a female voice says. "She's rolling, girl, she's rolling."
"Rolling" is a term commonly used to describe the effects of Ecstasy, a potentially lethal street drug that is often associated with the club scene.
MDMA, the active ingredient in Ecstasy, acts as both a stimulant and a psychedelic, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
In total, there were nine people in the minivan, including three adults, the toddler, an infant and four teenage girls under 17, Martin said. One of the adults, he said, was the 21-year-old mother of the toddler featured in the video.
Authorities used clues from the video -- including a brochure that said "Jackson County" and background radio sound from a Houston-based station -- to help identify the vehicle's occupants.
Although the child may not have been given Ecstasy, even if she was not high, Martin said, she was exposed to and being cared for by adults who may have been taking Ecstasy or at least are familiar with the dangerous drug.
After being stripped from YouTube, the video appeared on other Web sites, including Parents' Behaving Badly, a community site that highlights stories about abusive parenting, Digg and Live Leak.
Authorities released the video in the hope that someone might come forward with information regarding the women and children featured in the video.