Note: we are republishing this story in light of recent reports that show child abuse has significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. More on this here: https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2021-10-08/study-confirms-rise-in-child-abuse-during-covid-pandemic
Two New Hampshire mothers are facing child endangerment charges after they were both arrested for being drunk in a public parking lot. Police say they were too intoxicated to care for their children.
According to Us Weekly, Baylie Lecolst and Amber Giordano were arrested after a police officer found the pair of mothers drunk with their two infants in the parking lot of the Mall at Rockingham Park in Salem, New Hampshire.
A press released from the police department said that the two were "barely able to stand, let alone care for the infants."
Lecolst, 22, was reportedly found laying in a dirty puddle in the parking lot, holding her 4-month-old son above her head. Giordano's baby was one month old.
"The puddle was filled with water and motor vehicle fluids," Captain Joel Dolan told Us Weekly.
Police say the two mothers were equally uncooperative during the booking process. The entire process took four hours, officers say.
"This is something that should have taken 45 minutes, tops," Dolan said. "But they wouldn't tell us where they lived. They wouldn't give us phone numbers of sober adults to come pick them up. They were giving addresses in towns that didn't exist."
Dolan said that at one point, one of the mothers attempted to breastfeed her baby, but the officers "immediately ordered her to stop."
According to the Mayo Clinic, babies cannot safely drink breast milk that has any level of alcohol in it.
Investigators plan to work with the New Hampshire Department of Children, Youth and Families as they continue work on the case.
The infants were eventually released into the custody of each of the women's parents.
Both Lecolst and Giordano have been charged with misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Both women were released on bail and were scheduled to appear in court.
"They made some very poor decisions and put two infants in that much danger," Dolan said. "They could barely take care of themselves at that point, let alone care for two innocent infants."
Many of the reader comments on the Boston Globe’s story about the incident harshly condemned the mothers’ actions.
One reader thought that the babies could be in mortal danger: "They will all be dead soon. Judgment goes out the window when someone is that drunk. How long before they forget their children in a car on a hot day (assuming they have one) or don't feed them because they need money for drugs or alcohol. They need help. All of them."