Editor’s Note: We have updated this story.
HOLMES COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Holmes County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at a home off Highway 81 in the Prosperity community at about 3:45 Tuesday afternoon.
They found 23-year-old Kathreen Adams holding her child in her arms. They say Adams told them she found the child unresponsive inside of the home and didn’t know what happened.
Investigators said Adams’ story didn’t add up.
“Investigators on the scene had EMC take a body temperature of the baby, which the body temperature of the child was 107 degrees so we knew something was not adding up,” Holmes County Sheriff John Tate said.
The child’s father, 32-year-old Christopher McLean was reportedly uncooperative during questioning. Investigators said Adams eventually admitted she picked her daughter up from a babysitter around midnight and decided to leave her in the vehicle.
“So they decided to leave the child in the car and went inside and ultimately fell asleep and did not wake up or did not realize the child was in the car until around three, 3:41 that afternoon and once they realized that the child was still in the car, they went out and found it unresponsive,” Tate said.
Deputies searched the home and vehicle and said they found methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and marijuana.
“I honestly believe methamphetamine drugs is the culprit behind this death, that’s what happens when you use drugs, you lose sense of what’s going on in reality and this kind of stuff happens probably if I wasn’t on drugs, we probably wouldn’t be here today,” Tate said.
For now, Adams and McLean are charged with child neglect, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia, but could face more charges.
Investigators said they’re waiting on autopsy results to decide what homicide charges the couple will face, if any.
The Department of Children and Families now has custody of the couple’s 4-year-old child.
You can read a previous version below:
HOLMES COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — The parents of a toddler who left a child in a car for 14 hours have now been arrested and charged, Holmes County deputies said Wednesday.
Deputies stated in a news conference that they received the 911 call around 4 p.m. Tuesday but were unsure of what was taking place. When deputies arrived at the home for a welfare check, they found the mother, Kathreen Adams, 23, was holding the child. The child was unresponsive
When EMS arrived, they took the temperature of the 2-year-old child and found she was over 100 degrees, 107 exactly.
EMS started live-saving measures at the house but the child has passed away.
When deputies took both parents in for questioning, the father, Christopher McLean, 32, was uncooperative but when the mother was confronted about leaving the child in the car, she admitted to it, deputies said.
HCSO obtained search warrants for the home and vehicle. Officials said they found methamphetamine and other drug paraphernalia in the home, believing the mother and father were under the influence of drugs when this incident happened.
The parents have been charged with child neglect, possession of meth, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.
The autopsy for the child is scheduled for this afternoon.