A 5-year-old has been removed from his school and placed in foster care after his teacher found eight bags of heroin in the kindergartner's pocket.

The incident led principal Anthony Ciampoli to send a letter on Tuesday to parents whose children attend Richmond Elementary School. The letter did not explain why school officials waited so long to tell parents about the incident, which occurred Oct. 25.

The letter was sent home after a report about the incident aired on a local television station.

The incident is under investigation, and the 5-year-old's mother could be charged, police Inspector William Colarulo said.

Neither the child nor any of his classmates at the school was harmed by the drug, said schools spokesman Fernando Galliard.

The boy and his three siblings were turned over to the city's Department of Human Services said DHS spokesman Ted Qualli.

"At this time, we are looking to identify relatives that may be appropriate to take care of the children pending the outcome of our investigation," Qualli said.

"We are shocked and saddened, outraged," Galliard said, that a parent or parents could place a child in such danger.

He said the boy was an innocent victim.

A police source said the child's home was in deplorable condition and used drug paraphernalia had been found inside. The source said the boy found the packets of heroin under his mother's bed.