PIERCETON, Ind. (WANE) – A woman asleep behind the wheel of her van while high on drugs, is facing multiple charges, after forgetting where she left her 9-month-old baby.
Pierceton Police responded to a Marathon gas station located at 2124 South State Road 13 near U.S. 30 in Pierceton around 1 a.m. Tuesday after someone discovered a woman sleeping in a vehicle parked at a gas pump.
Officers found 20-year-old Rachel Stevens, from South Bend, asleep at the pump.
Officers recovered a stolen temporary license plate and found several illegal drugs inside her van. Officers eventually arrested Stevens after they found methamphetamine, marijuana and heroin inside the vehicle.
During the investigation, police discovered Stevens had left a 9-month-old daughter in a hotel room in Fort Wayne. However, Stevens couldn’t identify the person she left the child with at the hotel, but she was able to provide a hotel and room number.
“I think it was several different conversations from my understanding. Originally, at the time of the call, obviously she was under the influence of several different narcotics. So, it was very difficult to get correct and factual information at that time. So, it was later around 10 a.m. where Stevens was able to start to give information that was relevant to finding her daughter,” said Chief Tim Sammons of the Pierceton Police Department.
The Department of Child Services and Fort Wayne Police Department were contacted about the situation.
Eventually Fort Wayne police officers went to the hotel, but the room given by Stevens was empty and no one had occupied the room since Monday.
Owens said after a lengthy interview with Stevens, police were able to make contact with a man that had been caring for the infant. Around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, the man met with police officers at 3535 West Coliseum Boulevard and safely returned the child unharmed.
“I’m praying for her. I’m just glad the baby is okay,” said Barbara Trott, a local resident.
“When drugs are involved and people are under the influence of heroin and methamphetamine and marijuana, you’re capable of doing about anything, which would be giving their child to basically a stranger to take care of,” said Sammons.
The exchange took place approximately 17 hours after police first made contact with Stevens.
The child is now with the Department of Child Services.
Stevens is being held in the Kosciusko County Jail. She’s facing drug charges and neglect of a dependent.