A 3-year-old girl found safe haven in the Kelso police station early Tuesday morning after officers found her wandering barefoot in the street around midnight with her mother, who was mentally incapacitated and admitted to using methamphetamine, according to a police report.
Kelso police later handed the 3-year-old girl over to Child Protective Services, and the girl’s 25-year-old mother was admitted to St. John Medical Center.
Police said they had been in touch with the woman eight times in the last few days. Each time, she was wrapped in a blanket and carrying her daughter.
Late Monday, just before midnight, Kelso Officer Bebe McFall said she and other officers were called to the woman’s apartment in the 100 block of Redpath Street, where they found her and the girl outside. The woman was wrapped in a blanket and carrying the girl.
McFall reported that she told the woman it was cold and she needed to take her child inside. The woman “rambled incoherent statements and could not answer any questions appropriately,” yet finally agreed to go inside, McFall wrote.
McFall told her to expect a visit from a social worker and left. Less than a half hour later, at 1:04 a.m., a driver reported seeing a woman wrapped in a blanket carrying a small child in the middle of a dark road. Police again found the woman outside her apartment. Temperatures were dropping and the 3-year-old was “crying hysterically,” McFall reported.
Both mother and child were barefoot. The woman’s blanket was covered in wet mud. The 3-year-old was wearing only a T-shirt and Capri pants.
“I reached out and touched (the girl’s) arm, noticing that she was extremely cold,” McFall wrote. “I asked (the girl) if she was cold and she cried and said, ‘Yes.’ ”
The girl’s mother, meanwhile, “stared blankly” and wouldn’t respond to McFall’s questions. She said she was bipolar, babbled nonsensical numbers and rambled on about “Oregon, trains, music and more,” McFall wrote.
McFall took the pair back into the apartment. There was food on the floor, marker writing on the walls and no sheets or blankets on the beds. The 3-year-old was wearing the same dirty clothes she wore the previous day. There were marker drawings on the girl’s arms, legs and stomach.
McFall took the girl from her mother’s arms and wrapped her in a blanket, drove her to the Kelso police station and helped her into some warm pajamas. By then it was 1:45 a.m., and the girl told McFall she had not yet eaten dinner. McFall gave her a snack.
The 3-year-old “then fell asleep on the couch once she was wrapped up in two blankets,” McFall wrote in her report.
A CPS social worker later came to the police station and took custody of the girl. The girl’s mother was admitted to St. John Medical Center, where she told police and medical staff she had been using methamphetamine.