FORT MYERS, FL — A mother was found passed out in a car with her toddler in the passenger seat next to her, and police also found drugs, a knife and a gun within the child’s reach.
A good Samaritan noticed the car parked in a shopping center parking lot off Gulf Center Drive in Fort Myers, Florida Thursday morning and called law enforcement.
Inside, they found Ashley Sanchez and her child, and within the child’s reach were drugs, paraphernalia, a steak knife, and even a gun, according to the report.
Law enforcement says they knocked on the window several times, noting Sanchez was passed out, even drooling, with her toddler in the front seat next to her.
Sanchez appeared before a judge Friday morning facing felony charges of child neglect and drug possession.
“I don’t see how a parent can do that,” said Midge Leonhardt. “The child could have gotten the gun or whatever.”
“I have three kids and I never do anything to jeopardize my kids,” said Iris Colon.
Shoppers were floored by the accusations.
“The child mimics the parent. She could have thought it was candy or a toy,” Colon said.
In court, the judge explained Sanchez cannot see her child without supervision.
“Do you understand? What’s my bond? You’re more concerned about your bond than what I just said about your child?” asked the judge.
We stopped at Sanchez’s home and talked to her mother who told us off camera that her daughter is in need of help.
With all that was found in the car, nothing was there for the toddler. A deputy for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office went inside the store and bought diapers and food after Sanchez said she didn’t know the last time her child eaten.
The child is in the care of Sanchez’s parents.