Cops credited a sharp-eyed couple for helping nab two parents who are accused of having guns and drugs in their car while their two young children were in the back seat.
Jessica and Bryan Damron told WSYX they were scouting foreclosed homes in Franklin, Ohio, about 40 miles northeast of Cincinnati, on Jan. 3 when they stopped at a local convenience store. When another car pulled up alongside them, the Damrons saw the male driver get out and walk into the nearby store, while the woman in the passenger seat was nodding off.
"We were sitting there and I looked over and I told my husband she's starting to pass out," Jessica said. "And it just got worse and worse."
The Damrons said they realized there were young children sitting in the back and were worried that the parents were high or intoxicated. They called 911, and responding deputies confirmed their suspicions after searching the car.
Cops found small amounts of what they believe was heroin and crack cocaine, as well as hypodermic needles in the car, WSYX reported. When they found a backpack during their search, they opened it and discovered eight handguns and a shotgun inside. Two of the handguns and the shotgun were loaded.
Jessica credited sheriff's deputies for handling the children well by buying them juice, snacks and small beanie baby toys to distract them from what was happening with their parents. Johnny Schumaker, 30, and Ashlee Grubbs, 27, were each charged with child endangerment and drug possession, but cops said more charges could be pending.
It wasn't clear if the children were placed with relatives or were given other arrangements while their parents were arrested, and the WSYX report did not mention if Child Protective Services was involved, which is typical of such cases.
The Damrons exemplified good citizens who can help police by keeping an eye out for suspicious behavior, Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott said.
"Those kids," Jessica said. "What would have happened if nobody called that day and where would they have gone?"
Substance abuse disorders are a factor in one-third to two-thirds of families in child welfare services, according to the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW).