Deputies: Woman charged after 5 small children tried to cross US 19 alone – Bay News 9

A woman is facing charges after deputies said five small children in her care were found trying to cross U.S. 19 without adult supervision.

Samantha McCarthy, 24, is facing charges of child neglect in connection with the incident, which happened Tuesday at 9 a.m. in front of the Motel 6 on U.S. 19 in Spring Hill.

According the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, a concerned driver called dispatch to report seeing five very small children trying to cross U.S. 19 to get to Weeki Wachee Springs. The driver was able to stop the children before they walked into the lanes of traffic.

Deputies said the children were either too young or unable to say their names or who their parents are.

All of the children were reportedly wearing nothing but heavily soiled diapers, and the youngest child had a severe rash on parts of her body. Paramedics were called to the scene and said the rash appeared to be several weeks old.

After about a half-hour, McCarthy approached deputies, saying she went to the lobby of the Motel 6 because the children she was caring for were missing.

McCarthy told deputies she was sleeping and did not realize the children had left the room. She said the door was locked and she didn’t know how they had gotten out.

Deputies said they learned the five children ranged in age from 5 to 1 year old. When they asked about the rash on the 1-year-old girl, McCarthy told them it had been there for two to three days, and it hadn’t been treated but she planned to seek treatment later that day.

However, deputies said McCarthy had no means of transportation and had not made an appointment to have the child seen by a doctor.

“A little odd, like not a normal mother,” Amy Cooper, who is also staying at the Motel 6, said about McCarthy. “She seemed she wasn’t paying attention to much that was going on.”

The Department of Children and Families was called to the scene. They checked the motel room and found no food for the children and only minimal clothing.

The children were taken into custody by the Department of Children and Families.