Stories of kids left in a hot car by parents off doing something they shouldn’t be doing — or simply forgetting that their kids are there — have been all too common recently. But last week in Monroe, Michigan, a 37-year-old mom, according to police, left her kids in a freezing cold car, for reasons that are both infuriating and simply sad.
Police did not release the woman’s name, saying only that she is from Belleville, Michigan, but she now faces charges of child neglect, as well as other possible charges in the incident which, fortunately, left her two daughters, ages 9 and 5, unharmed. But not only could the children have faced serious danger, police say, they nearly ended up without a mother.
As temperatures plunged to single digits Wednesday afternoon, the mom pulled into the parking lot of the McDonald’s fast food restaurant pictured above, at 1180 North Dixie Highway in Monroe. Leaving her two young girls in the frigid car, the woman then went inside the McDonald’s and into the bathroom, where she apparently injected herself with heroin.
But with the deadly drug in her system, the woman went to sleep — and did not wake up. At about 4:15 p.m., the woman’s 9-year-old daughter began to sense that something was wrong, and got out of the car. She went into the McDonald’s and found her mother slumped over in the bathroom. The little girl screamed, alerting other customers, who then called police.
When the cops and paramedics showed up, they found the mom of two unconscious on a toilet in the restroom of the McDonald’s. According to Monroe police Officer Kristopher Joswiak, they found the woman passed out with a shoestring tied around her arm, with a burned spoon — commonly used to “cook” heroin into an injectable solution — and a syringe also present in the bathroom.
Paramedics rushed her to a nearby hospital, where she was injected with Narcan, a drug that counteracts overdoses of heroin and other opium-based narcotics. After the injection, the woman woke up.
But according to police, she refused to talk to investigators, and did not appear remorseful over the incident. Police said she showed extreme disregard for the safety of her children.
Monroe is the county seat of Monroe County, a region which has been described as in the throes of a heroin “epidemic,” with an alarming string of heroin overdoses in the past two years, the woman who left her kids in a car outside McDonald’s being only the latest.