Mariela Sanchez, 20, of Lake Worth, was arrested Monday after receiving reports that her children, ages one and two-years-old were wandering around in the street. Neighbors said that on several dates including December 1, 2017 the toddlers were seen left unsupervised for up to three hours or more.
The children were found with soiled diapers and apparent poor hygiene. Witnesses stated that the parents of the children were observed arguing on a regular basis and the property manager had been called about the unattended toddlers.
On one occasion, a neighbor reported hearing a baby crying and witnessed the two-year-old sobbing while the one-year-old lingered in the middle of the Lake Worth street. They were ushered into the manager’s office.
Multiple witnesses confirmed that they had seen the young children wandering in the street numerous times.
When finally found and confronted by officials regarding the whereabouts of her two toddlers, Sanchez said she thought the children were playing hide-and-seek. The mother said she believed the children were in her bedroom hiding when she discovered they were missing.
Mariela Sanchez was arrested for child neglect – neglect child without great bodily harm – she was released on $3,000 bond.
October 12, 2017
A judge has ordered two young mothers to stay away from each other. The women were found inside an SUV by Boynton Beach police officers on October 5. Both new moms were passed out from apparent overdoses due to heroin use.
Two screaming infants were found in car seats in the vehicle with Kristin O’Connor, 27, of Coral Springs, and June Schweinhart, 28, of Lake Worth. The SUV was located in the 500 block of Woolbright Road in Boyton Beach.
Body camera footage released by the Boyton Beach police shows officers attempting to soothe the 1-month and 2 month-old babies.
The officer softly speaks, “It’s okay,” while placing a pacifier in a tiny crying mouth.
The body-cam footage also reveals a paramedic informing an officer that the overdose reversal drug Narcan was used.
The two women were given treatment at a hospital before being arrested and taken to the Palm Beach County Jail. They were charged with child neglect and scheduled to appear in drug court on Thursday.
Officials report that the moms became friends while attending the same drug treatment center.
According to Boynton Beach Police FaceBook page, officers brought the babies back to the police department, where they were snuggled for several hours. The Department of Children and Families responded to take custody of the babies, who were eventually turned over to family members.
The mothers can not see their children unless another adult is present.
Florida’s Department of Children and Families is following the case.