An Indiana woman was arrested after police found her passed out in her car from an alleged overdose as her infant son sat in the back seat, authorities said.
Police in Hope released a photo they say is of 25-year-old Erika Hurt, shown unconscious behind the wheel of her car, which was reportedly parked outside a Dollar General store Saturday.
In the picture, the woman’s head is tilted back and her hand loosely grips a syringe.
As his mother was allegedly slumped over in the driver’s seat, a 10-month-old baby boy sat crying in the back of the car, Town Marshal Matthew Tallent told reporters.
Hurt was revived with the opioid antidote naloxone and taken to a hospital, where she was arrested on charges of child neglect and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the Associated Press.
Police released the image of Hunt in an effort to bring attention to what many are calling the nation’s worsening problem with drug addiction, a course of action that many law enforcement officials in recent months seem to be adopting.
"This is a major issue that needs to be dealt with. It’s happening all over and little kids are caught up in this... It’s very frustrating," Ohio’s East Liverpool Police Chief John Lane told InsideEdition.com after his department in September released photos they said captured James Acord and Rhonda Pasek overdosing on heroin as Pasek’s 4-year-old grandson sat stoically in the back.
A West Virginia mother was arrested Tuesday after she allegedly crashed her car into a restaurant with her 2-year-old son in the backseat as she overdosed on heroin, authorities said.
Kristin Tippett, 28, was charged with child neglect and creating risk of injury after she drove backwards across a Wendy’s drive-thru lane and into the building, according to reports.
After she was revived with naloxone — the same drug used to revive Hurt — Tippett allegedly told police she did not know what happened, CBS reported. A needle, filters, marijuana joints and an unknown substance in a cup were reportedly found in the car.
“People like to bury their heads in the sand about this, but it’s an issue that’s reached almost epidemic proportions,” Lane said in September. “People like to pretend it’s [isolated]… but this is the whole country.”
Bartholomew County — where Hunt was found — has experienced 22 overdoses in the past year, including two that were fatal, WTHR reported.
Hunt’s son was turned over to his grandmother after the incident.
“He is well taken care of and is a super happy healthy kid, at least he won’t remember what happened,” a relative wrote on Facebook.
Other loved ones voiced well wishes for Hunt, who they wrote allegedly struggled with substance abuse issues.
“Erika Hunt is a good person she really is but addiction is hard,” one person posted on social media. “I hope the best for her.”
“This girl needs prayers and good friends not shame and guilt,” another friend commented. “Let’s all rally prayers for her and her family.”
Hunt posted on social media about how her life had changed for the better after her son’s birth, posting in April: “He has changed my life so much, and his little face makes me the happiest mom on earth. I cherish every little ounce of unconditional love that he gives me each and every day. No matter what, I am perfect in his eyes, and he is absolutely perfect in mine. I love you baby boy.”
Hunt is being held at Bartholomew County Jail without bond, online records show.
She does not yet have an attorney on record since she has not been formally charged in court, officials said.