Police: 2 arrested after deputies find newborn on minivan floor, covered in bugs
Laurel County Sheriff's deputies arrested two women after finding a newborn in dangerous conditions Thursday evening.
Deputies said they pulled over a minivan on Old Richmond Road for traffic violations. The driver, 66-year-old Charlotte Simpson, and the passenger, 32-year-old Rebecca Fultz, both had active warrants for their arrests.
About 10 minutes later, deputies said Simpson told them there was a baby in the minivan. They found a child's seat in the backseat area, but no baby.
That is when they noticed a blanket on the floor, between the front seats. A deputy pulled the blanket back and found a 16-day-old infant laying on the floor, his head inches from the center console.
The baby's breathing was reportedly labored, and had ants on his face and a soiled diaper, deputies said.
The minivan was full of clothes, trash, junk and other items. The air-conditioning did not work, and the outside temperature was about 90 degrees.
Paramedics said the infant's oxygen levels were very low and rushed him to the hospital. Both paramedics had to care for the baby on the way, so a deputy who used to be a paramedic drove the ambulance.
"I think it was very fortunate that we were there to come to the rescue for that child," said Deputy Gilbert Acciardo. "Definitely we needed to make an arrest and we needed to take charge of that infant and see that it got emergency care. It was a very dire situation, to say the least."
When deputies checked the minivan to see if other children were inside, they found clothes with human feces on them, and bugs and roaches in bags of trash. They also found a large flatscreen TV that could have fallen on the infant if there was a crash.
During the arrest, Fultz tried to run away and struggled with deputies. After they caught and cuffed her, she told them she was pregnant and her stomach hurt. Deputies took Fultz to the hospital, where doctors said she was fine. She then reportedly began screaming in the hospital, causing a scene.
Fultz was charged with fleeing or evading police on foot, resisting arrest, second-degree disorderly conduct, criminal abuse of a child under 12 and menacing.
Simpson was charged with criminal abuse of a child under 12 and several traffic violations.
Fultz said her young son was safe.
"He just had a few heat bumps on him, but that was it," Fultz insisted.
The infant is doing better now, after being treated for dehydration.
"We told them the baby was in there," said Simpson. "We were in the shade and the windows were down. It was living. I mean, why in the world."
Both women said Fultz is a good mother.
"I treated my son good. I'm a good mom. I never neglected him. I have always taken care of him. They told a bunch of lies," said Fultz.
Both were arraigned Friday morning in Laurel District Court. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for next week.