Mother of Boy with Autism Says Needles Were Found in His New Shoes

Receipt for purchases from Ross Dress for Less.

Receipt for purchases from Ross Dress for Less. [Photo provided by White]

A mother of a 17-year-old boy with autism said that a pair of shoes purchased for him at a Eureka store on Friday contained used hypodermic needles. A Facebook post she put up about the incident has been shared over 1300 times by Sunday evening.

Richelle Ann White of Ferndale said that on the day after Thanksgiving, she and two of her sons went to Ross Dress for Less on the Broadway Mall. She said left her 17-year-old son, Austin, home. Austin had been saving up money and, with the first check he received from a job stocking shelves, now had enough to purchase a coveted pair of Under Armor shoes. She planned to get the shoes he wanted for him.

White said, “Each [of the boys] picked out a pair of shoes and then one pair for Austin.”

[Below is a video of Austin first posted November 15 beaming as he tells the questioner that he was making his own money and can now buy a pair of shoes he has been wanting.]

According to White, when she got home, she gave Austin the bag containing his shoes. He went into his room to try them on. She followed him soon after and came in as he was tying the last shoe up. There on the floor beside him were two hypodermic needles with what she described as a dark liquid possibly blood in them.

Used needles

The used needles Richelle Ann White said she found near her son, Austin, and his new shoes. [Photo provided by White]

White said she became very upset. “Where did these come from?” White said she asked Austin.

He speaks with sign language and has trouble communicating. According to White, “He started getting upset when he saw I was upset.” He wasn’t able to confirm the needles came from the shoe,s but White said she doesn’t know how else they could have gotten in his room. She said she retraced her steps in her mind and couldn’t find any other explanation of how he could have needles in his room.

“The needles came from the shoes,” she said. “I would bet my life.”

At first, she worried about Austin’s safety but she said she examined him and couldn’t find any evidence of a puncture in his feet. If he had been stabbed, she thinks she would have heard him cry out as she was nearby.

“I got a paper towel and took a picture [of the needles,]” she explained. Then she said she put the needles in a bottle and threw it away.

The pair of Under Armor shoes White purchased for her son.

The pair of Under Armor shoes White purchased for her son. [Photo provided by White]

Because Austin is autistic and passionate about shoes, particularly these he had been saving money to buy, White said she didn’t want to return the shoes. “[I]f you know anything about autism and being obsessive, it would have been almost tramatizing (sic) to my son to take away the shoes he just got, after waiting forever to get them,” she wrote in a comment on the Facebook post she made about finding the needles.

White believes the shoes are safe. “I went over them with Clorox wipes,” she said.

White doesn’t know how or why the needles ended up in the shoes. She thinks that one possibility is that a drug addict “got paranoid and stashed them.”

She doesn’t blame the store though. “I love Ross!,” she wrote. Austin also loves the store. “This is the 15th to 20th pair of shoes he bought at Ross,” she said.

According to White, she called the store manager at Ross who was very concerned. White said the manager told her that she would do a complete sweep of the store looking for any other problems and thanked her for letting her know.

White said that this could have happened “pretty much anywhere that sells shoes in Eureka.”

This experience she said she had has made White more cautious though. “It will be a long time before I reach blindly for ANYTHING in a public place again…,” she wrote in a comment on her Facebook post.

Although she has some people doubt her account of what happened and that, she said, is stressful, she still thinks it is important to reach out to the community with her story. If the post “prevents just one person from having to go through this[,] it’s worth it,” she said.

Note: we reached out to both the Eureka Ross Dress for Less store and their corporate headquarters in an attempt to confirm details. The first told us to speak to their headquarters. The second did not respond by the time we published this.



  • I don’t doubt this story at all. Always a diverse crowd that patronizes Ross. Don’t blame the store either coulda happened anywhere

  • Poor Austin. I’m glad he got to keep his shoes.

  • She has changed her story from saying on Facebook that witnesses saw her son pull them out of the shoes to no confirmation they came from the shoes, but she can’t think where they could have come from in this story. Some people are desperate for attention and others are too eager to believe stories which reinforce their beliefs.

    • Here is what she said, ” I have 2 witnesses who where with me every min. From the store untill I got home and then 3 witnesses that were there when Austin pulled them out of his shoe and tossed them to the ground with the stickers and tags and strings… is a pic of his shoes.”

      • Yes, that is what she said in the Facebook post. But that isn’t what she said in your reporting of it. In your reporting she said, “He wasn’t able to confirm the needles came from the shoe,s but White said she doesn’t know how else they could have gotten in his room. She said she retraced her steps in her mind and couldn’t find any other explanation of how he could have needles in his room.”

        If there were witnesses that saw him take the needles out of his shoes, why would she need his confirmation and why would she retrace her steps to find another explanation? Contradictory stories.

      • Thank you Kym for writing this article. I am a great fan of your site. I know there are nasty trolls but R-Dogs comment needs to be removed please. Austin is not a drug addict and he’s out of line for making such accusations. He’s an innocent child. Thanks for all your hard work you do.

      • why would she need to repeatedly ask Austin where the needles were from if there were supposed witnesses? doesn’t add up

        • People that judge good people are cruel and I feel sorry for you. This Mom is a good person and is not lying! People always judge and most will never understand until it happens to them. She has no reason to lie, so I suggest you go back under your bridge, you negative judgemental Troll.

          • Asking questions isn’t judgement. And There are a couple of discrepanices, just a fact.

            • As a child , did you ever play , “Telephone” a game that is very exposing to the non-learned. It is hard to tell a story and remember every phrase and word as you repeat the story over and over again.
              No one is going to waste time telling a story of our fallen town and the lack of good leadership.
              Yes , I believe the woman and God Bless you.

          • Well Hello! If you don’t want to open your self up to questions or even trolls maybe don’t post something like this to social media. Welcome to 2017

    • There is absolutely no reason for her to lie. Ms. White and Austin are very dear to my heart. Richelle is simply making people aware of what has happened. Can you imagine if it was your child and god for bid, if the needles would of poked him.
      These are good people and they are not looking for anything other than to make people aware!! These people have no reason to lie!!! They are not wanting anything other than to make people aware to be cautious and maybe look into shoes because they could contain needles or other drug paraphernalia.
      Austin is an awesome child and he is very very smart. He is also very passionate about what he likes and shoes are one of his passions. He gets so happy and proud when he is wearing a new pair of shoes just like any child does not mention he worked and made money to buy them.
      I really think instead of judging this Mom, and to accuse her of changing her story, think before you speak. She was making the public aware, she is not looking for any monetary gain and she understands it’s not Ross’s fault! She Was very adamant about not wanting it to reflect any bad publicity for Ross or the mall. Do not attact someone that was doing a good deed and informing people of what had happened to her son.
      So next time you accuse someone or insinuate they are lying, ask yourself why would she??? She’s not suing anybody, she’s not asking for anything other than to make people aware what was found in her sons shoes from Ross.
      She is a very great person and has no reason to lie , nor would she. She loves her kids and like any Mom will always do her best to protect them from harm. However, you never think of hypodermic needles being stuffed in a pair of shoes When you buy them from a store.
      Disposing of hypodermic needles is a problem everywhere but if you read any local news, you know needles are stashed or left wherever the druggies leaves them!! For goodness sake, I heard Target was going to put big red sharps containers just for this purpose so dirty needles will stay contained. It’s a problem so, before you start making accusations you need to think before you write!!! Not everybody has a negative agenda so you should probably say Thank you , to Ms. White for making the public aware of what had happened and it’s that simple!!!

      • And yet she has told contradictory stories. People lie for many reasons and people ignore lies for even more. Both stories can’t be true no matter how nice she is.

        • I agree. why not call the police right away? throw them away in a bottle? story is sketchy. Blame ross when the kid could have picked them up anywhere

        • the misadventures of bunjee

          Dude, give it a rest. We get it. You’re the judge, jury and executioner here. You think that slightly different repeats of a story automatically make it BS and the mom is just attention whoring. We read you the first time. Now go away and let this be investigated properly.

          • Slightly different stories is not totally contradictory stories. She made it up and lost track of her lies.

            • the misadventures of bunjee

              Oh brother. And you have proof of this right, Sherlock? Seriously, give it a rest. You don’t know anything and are just making assumptions because it makes you feel right.

              • Her statements can’t both be true. Either she lied about the 3 witnesses or she lied about questioning her son and retracing her steps to figure out where they came from. How desperate must you be for a reason to hate on junkies to deny her obvious lies?

          • Haha! Investigated properly?! You’re funny!! The sheriffs will get right on it… when they call the feds in to help progress will really get done. Homeland security should have the resources to run dna… maybe Interpol can help if they don’t miss the window for witnesses?

            • If the feds did get involved and ran tests they would probably find the needles came from a state clean needle exchange program.

        • Wow. Everyone getting so defensive and freaked out because you notice some discrepancies….weird in and of itself.

        • The kid may have simply picked them up off the ground at the mall when he got back in the car, saw his mom was upset about them, and cant explain to her where he found them because shes freaking out and its upsetting him… No Proof they came from the store..

      • OK,
        I get it, what you are saying is everyone has to back off. I your mind anyone who doesn’t agree with the story shouldn’t even express themselves.
        I don’t have an opinion about her story.
        I do have an opinion about your comment, and I think you wouldn’t like to hear it.

  • I blame worthless junky tweaked assholes, you want to stop this? Arrest them! They’re walking all over the parking lot every fucking day, what the hell is wrong with this state? Makes me sick to my stomach imagining what he could have been infected with because of some pos.

    • Cabin in the woods

      Agreed. I went to CVS the other day & the local dumpster is left unlocked down by Subway & The Dollar Store. It’s a homeless magnet. People living near it.
      This is a major failure by the City. Zero enforcement. Fine the mall for not locking the dumpster.
      It’s time to vote these dipshits out of office if they’re not going to do their jobs.
      If the police aren’t willing to uphold the law they should turn in their badges.

      What a crock of shit this city has become.

    • I couldn’t agree more, these scumbags stash needles under my car all the time on G st. im sick of it!!!

  • Nobody is to blame, only The Marijuana Caliphate with the drugs and crime they unleashed on the community.

    Marijuana is always to blame, no exceptions.

    • Not opiates or meth? Why I’m coversating with chump….don’t know?

      • According to the CHUMP absolutely EVERYTHING wrong with the world these “daze” is caused by Cannabis!!! Strangest thing though about the CHUMP, he disappeared from the comment boards here at the beginning of Harvest Season & then mysteriously reappeared at the end of it!!! I suspect the CHUMP to be as full of CRAP as the Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner!!!

    • Evening chump nice to see your comment at a decent hour of the day , these junkies go into the mall and steal every chance they get like you stealing every chance to blame everything on weed get a fuckin lifemy friend and I slammed the shit outa this tweeker in boot barn a while back who had a long list of wanted items in his back pack I’m sure some junkie had to unload some felonies before they took a chance on stealing something in Ross , at least the kid has his shoes

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      Chump, I know you’ve got a tough job trolling day in and day out. But you know what? I think I might just roll a couple spliffs in your honor. And I haven’t smoked a thing in 25 years. But you….you are my inspiration. And I’ll name a strain after you.

    • unbridled phillistine

      Caliphate? Huh? Implies Religion gov based off MJ? So ur bagging on weed or Muslims? Either way is pretty thin.

  • Then quite growing mary Jane Mr chump.

  • Have them dna tested. Find out who they belong too

  • This mom’s story is highly suspect. The needles were in his room. They could have come from anywhere, including her.
    You can’t save up to buy a pair of shoes at Ross. They don’t have consistent enough inventory, it doesn’t make sense. Plus she doesn’t want to exchange the shoes or seek damages from Ross? Questionable.

  • Yikes,glad he wasn’t poked.

  • You need to delete your inappropriate comment. Austin is a sweet, innocent Autistic child. You are out of line and you need to rethink what you have commented!!! Do you always attack innocent children! You must be a real upstanding person.

  • Very skeptical of this story. No evidence they threw the needles away?

  • Supervisor Virginia Bass and Senator Mike McGuire will be having syringe kiosks placed throughout town. Maybe one at the Bayshore Mall, Eureka Mall, library, old town, Henderson center, every third block. One or more are needed in most towns in Humboldt county, thats how bad the problem has become. We have to start somewhere. It’s a matter of public safety, syringes are found everywhere, wouldn’t want my kid to pick one up on the street or on a beach somewhere.

    • Ill bet he homeless either break into these to get needles out, or set them on fire and melt them like they have done to most of the dog poop bag dispensers behind the mall on the paved trail….like they melted the outhouses provided at Devils Playground, also…

  • No chicken little

    Like the finger in the chili. Looking for the free lunch. set up a go fund me page and get your payday. Hire Gloria Allred already.

  • Sadly I fully believe this story and feel terrible for the mother. My daughter works in a Humboldt County Preschool in a residential area and they have to do a “safety sweep” of the facility every morning before the children arrive because drug addicts sometimes leave their syringes and drug paraphernalia around the premises outside overnight. This is not solely a Humboldt County problem. It is well known the entire USA is experiencing an opioid epidemic.

    The police request those who encounter a hypodermic needle to please call them to remove it. They want to document the location as well as dispose of it safely (with the “sharps”).

    In defense of the mother, please do not harass her. She and her innocent, hard working son need our support. The public should be made aware of this incident for all our safety and awareness. We should be thanking her, not trying to silence her.

    • What they need to do is their has become complacent almost accepted behavior there. I was at the mall last week with my family, and there were two junkies hanging out in the bathrooms both times I was there. One noddin off in the family friendly restrooms seating, the other standing and paper towel bathing. 1/2 hour later I escorted my daughter back there fro. Ulta, and the same two were still there.
      If there are 40 spots to sit in our mall on any given day over half are taken up by junkies. More on a rainy day. They are all over the parking lots, and every corner of the fucking town. Garb, redway, same thing.. it’s time to wake up and call our little creation what it is. A greasy shithole. Look around humboldt it’s coming to a corner near you real soon.maybe your street. Maybe in your yard. Maybe in your autistic kids new shoes..fuck the junkies. Fuck the BOS. Look where they all live. Start pushing it to their neighborhoods and see how fast it gets cleaned up. Get on this shit EPD your community needs you now more than ever.

    • You mention the Opium epidemic, do you know that most prescription opiates are made in China? have you ever read about the Chinese Opium Wars? something to think about. More people die from prescription opiates every year than all other street drugs combined.

      • Not true, most name brand prescription opioids sold in the US are made here in the US, with a lot of the generic ones made in India..not China…

  • No chicken little

    I know I know it’s not about the MONEY! It never is. Single mom, Autistic child Who could question that? she’s the one changing her story. Soon the viril story then the corporate scrutiny she better get coached up good and story straight.

    • Virginia Bass could get her opportunity to shine for the public with this story, if true, fly in as superwoman to save the day. Hooray!

  • when I originally read the post it said “boot”… now it is high tops?

    • Dang, I call my old Toyota Tacoma a car all the time. It just means that I’m not very precise in my speech. It doesn’t mean I’m intentionally lying. I don’t have the ability to prove or disprove all of this mom’s story but White provided a receipt proving she purchased shoes, she posted a photo of a brand new pair of shoes that match the label on the receipt, and on November 15 she posted a video of her excited son indicating he wanted to buy a shoe very similar to the one described. You may have problems with other parts of the story but the part where she bought a pair of shoes for her son at Ross’s would stand up in a court of law.

  • odd parts of the story don’t match. why wouldn’t you call the police right away? why keep shoes and chance illness (don’t care how old- that is bad) , originally said boots, and needles were in it.

    the mom may not be $ hungry, but obviously attention hungry

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      You know what? Who cares? But I will take from the story this (and because I wouldn’t put it past a junkie to hide something in a store for later. I know people who have done it [pro tip; there’s many things purposely hidden in our local parks and I’m not talking geocaching, so be careful]), ignore the folks being pedantic and just check shoes while at ross. I’d not like to find a scorpion in my shoes, I’d rather not find a needle either. This being Ross and all….

    • You need to stop please. This mother was simply making people aware of what had happened so people can be informed and aware. She would not make something up like this. Some people, believe it or not, still think about others and not just themselves! She was not trying to get attention or money and she’s not blaming anyone!!


    I’m proud of the boy for having a job and capability to work and save for things he wants, despite being a minor with a disability and problems communicating.


    If it’s true,it means junkies are likely using dressing rooms to shoot up,way more comfortable than a bathroom. Yuk.

  • Agreed, him having a job, that’s pretty cool. Kudos to you young man

  • It almost sounds like:
    Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP) is a mental health problem in which a caregiver makes up or causes an illness or injury in a person under his or her care, such as a child, an elderly adult, or a person who has a disability. Because vulnerable people are the victims, MSBP is a form of child abuse or elder abuse.

    • I will stop this right here! Ms. White is a fabulous Mom to all her kids. You are out of line even saying this. Do you know anything about these people? Stop judging and Austin is very much loved and properly cared for. This comment and accusations is not ok.

      • Ditto..lady has worked with many of our kids for years. Many of us have worked with or around her kid..
        The saddest thing here is that you armchair experts are sitting here judging her story.
        Even if she did make it up, it’s an entirely possible situation, and not too far off given the state of eureka. Look around you, you fucking sheep, look at what the state of our community is in. Stop acting like this isn’t happening all around us! They are considering giving junkies safe haven areas to shoot up in. This is where we are at!
        Where will they put these, downtown? My street? Yours? Which neighborhoods won’t be effected? This is what happens when we become complacent and accepting of filth, lazyNess,and sloth..
        this is not your uncle with the back injury that takes too many vics but still functions well. These are lowlife junkie thieves and hardcore mental cases, and you would treat them as they are just a little sick? like a cold? have compassion? try to help and get them some treatment?
        Ok that’s fine, but do it from your yard, your house, and your wallet. My family has already suffered enough generational damage, and paid way too many taxes to be accepting this so-called sick behavior. Clean up your camps, show a desire to clean up yourself, and the area around you, then I’ll believe you actually want to get clean. Untill then there are way too many good families homeless and in need of services to be wasting these valuable resources on wasted lives. You sheep keep on drinking the koolaide…it’s called an Epidemic now..ever wonder what the walking dead really are? Look in front of you.

  • regardless of all i have read, my heart brims seeing this boy reacting to his hard earned paycheck. good work kym

  • If you love Ross’s why would you post this on Facebook, this site, and who knows where else, when you have no definite proof that the needles came from there. I’m sure this is not going to boost their sales. Why would you risk your child’s health and keep the shoes? I would rather disappoint him than risk getting him ill or catching some possible fatal disease. Insoles are very absorbent!

    Why doesn’t the receipt have a time or date stamp on it. Why were the last four digits of the card blocked out and the authorization number covered. These are on all the receipts you get when you use a card for all to see. Why not make a report to the police if you are so worried about the situation? She was able to call the store manager though.

    I saw a couple of syringes in a dollar store parking lot the other day that a store customer had pointed out to a employee. It definitely happens probably more than we realize. But not all people make a spectacle of it and post it. Seems to me like the mother is seeking some attention, even if it is negative! Keep an eye on this story, I’m sure there is going to be more to it in the near future. Maybe a little Christmas settlement would help out. Some of the show and tell seems to be missing.

  • Needles found every day in Eureka stores. Retailers get hit hard by junkie thieves who leave them behind in the bathrooms, etc. If the Prop 215 and 147 libs didn’t enable druggies, maybe we could clean up this town.

    • Yes. yes, blame someone else. Blame weed. Blame libs, blame laws voted on by both parties, because you gotta blame all the worlds ills on something, right? Because ‘red’ states dont have junkies and tweekers, no! No crime at all huh? Would it ever occur to you cons to blame the perp?

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      I’ll bet your grandpa smoked weed. That was way before 215 was even an idea on paper.

  • Wow lots of people judging, diagnosing and guessing just what happened, perhaps they are the attention whores in this story, not the author. Personally I think this just shows you need to check out what you buy when you buy it, especially if you are handing it to someone with special needs!

  • When I worked at shell st.i cleaned the planters one day and got stuck with one of the many needles and had to call the cops.and had to go to the hospital to be tested.that was the longest,scariest couple of months of my life. They had to report it to cal-osa,but point is she should.have called the police,at least they could have been notified. WHAT A wonderful happy fellow. We have autism in our family and their accomplishments ARE AWSOME!!

  • That sucks .hope she didn’t throw them in the trash cause these are considered hazardous waste and need to be dropped in a safe location.throwing them in the trash doesn’t help they probably rolling out on the sorting line in fortuna as we speak

  • Some of these comments are just too much. There really isn’t much to question. She isn’t filing a lawsuit, she hasn’t demanded money back or anything monetary. She didn’t call every news outlet to tell her story. This is a simple situation involving a mother, her children and a pair of shoes that came with needles in them. This is a very believable story. Have the negative commenters ever been to Ross or the mall? Most, if not all the shoes are out of the box and on a shelf, making them accessible for someone to place needles in them. Junkies frequent the mall, where Ross is located. Junkies are everywhere in Eureka and often do despicable things. All one needs to do is read or watch the news. What does the mother have to gain by this? Why would she lie? I’m thankful the young man did not get poked. I’m glad he got to keep his shoes which he worked so hard for. Im all for questioning and not just believing everything you read or hear, but the negative commenters are grasping.

  • the comments show the problem with society, drug addicts aren’t help to any level of responsibility. The needles should be dna tested and results logged so the individuals could be charged latter, whenever they commit another crime, call it a week… they should be charged with something like attempted murder, instead the cops will chuckle about it and dilholes will make up excuses. I remember a time when I didn’t lock my house at night or my truck at rays parking lot. But that ship sailed, thanks.

  • It is too bad folks get attacked for trying to warn the public to be safe.

    • Exactly! Thank you. It’s really sad how people judge others with such negative thinking. Believe it or not, there are still people out there that care about other humans. I realize the Trolls are so miserable that they try to ruin everyone’s day! Not everyone is out for themselves. Maybe these Trolls should try to think of someone other than themselves. Try to be positive and grateful for people like Ms. White for making the public aware so you can at least be aware and take proper precautions.

  • the russians did it

    needles have been found at ross many times, people just don’t report it.
    I’m in fortuna at the shell station and as i seep out of the car i almost step on a needle.
    Humboldt is home to an epidemic, lets just put it out there and start discussion.

  • “…threw them away…”
    Where is that?
    In a world which gets smaller everyday, choking on it’s own garbage, where does “away” exist?
    I am amazed that anyone anywhere still thinks “away” is a dump-site on another planet.

  • the bottom line is that you don’t save up for something you see on TV or other media at Ross. its discontinued/close-outs from several years ago as you can see by the subject shoe. all that I see is plotting and scheming. the needles could be hers.

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      No, you save up $500 for a ton of things at Ross, not one single thing. How you assume it’s a nefarious plot is beyond me.

    • I don’t have all the answers but, a week and a half prior to this event, White posted a video of her son that I have in the article. How did she get him to say all that and for what reason? She isn’t asking for money and there have to be easier ways of getting attention.

  • Needle drop kiosks in the shape of a syringe and needle, appropriately bloody and dripping would be a real hoot! No one could miss them and they`d get the point across.

  • Stop providing needles to the junkies! The Health department is facilitating this negative problem. No needles should be issued to anyone unless thru a doctors office or medical facility. Each needle needs a tracking number to follow it’s life usage. Once discarded in the personal PIKS container, they are returned to the medical facility for destruction.
    Letting these junkies have easy access to as many needles as they want is insanity-I say that again INSANITY!
    Only the touchy feely medical industry/helpers/machine benefits from proliferation of addiction. The community is the loser always.STOP HANDING OUT NEEDLES!!!!!!!!!

    • Oh no, not only do they need all the fresh needles they want, they need safe spaces to shoot up. And since they’re unfortunate, deprived members of our society they should not even get in trouble when they commit crimes.

  • Don’t worry “Crime Stopper”, keep your cape on. A few more beatings and that dead horse will rise. It’s taken a little longer than once thought, but there can be no denying the Great Drug War is almost won….

    I’m sorry you weren’t locked up for your illegal THC addiction, THC. Might coulda learned something about prohibition and it’s astounding failure. Or at least learned about the dozen or so medications indicated for CANNABIS ADDICTION. Indeed we have come a long way…..

    WAKE UP NOW!!!

  • You know “bboy”, you shouldn’t point your crooked little finger at anyone. We know and have read about what side of the fence you are on. Most of us know that the “Great Drug War” ended in 2012, when the monies and funding ran out. Drugs that drain the city and county coffers are not being dealt with. Look around. The zombie junkies and meth monkeys have taken this county over! If they only destroyed their own lives, that would be different, but they effect us all. Don’t make me count the ways! I believe that there are many more things that are better and positive to fixate on than hard drugs!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *