NEW LONDON - A mother of three was arrested early Friday after her 4-year-old daughter was found wandering outside while her mother left with a friend to smoke marijuana. The girl had to be treated for hypothermia.
Rebecca Reyes, 23, of New London, called police to report her 4-year-old daughter was missing from her bed around 3:38 a.m. The family lives at the Winthrop Square Apartments located at 163 Huntington St.
New London Police, Waterford Police, State Police and the New London Fire Department conducted a search of the home and the neighborhood and found the little girl hunched between a storm door and the door of one of the nearby apartments around 4:30 a.m. She appeared unconscious, was turning blue, and was wearing only a yellow t-shirt, jeans, and boots, police said.
"She was very incoherent with the officers," said Peter Reichard, the New London Police acting police chief.
The girl was found when the temperature outside was about 3 degrees and the windchill was -15. Police said the girl's body temperature was only 92 degrees.
Reyes told police she had put the child to bed at around 12:30 a.m. along with her two other children, ages 5 and 2. Upon further questioning, Reyes told police that she left her three children alone in the house at 2 a.m. and "drove with a friend around New London while they smoked marijuana," according to police.
"What parent in their right mind goes out at 2:00 a.m. leaves their three infants behind to score drugs?" said Reichard.
She returned home about an hour later, around 3 a.m. and discovered the 4-year-old girl missing. She didn't report the girl missing until 3:38 a.m. though, and police say Reyes showed little concern for her child when she was finally discovered.
"Detectives said they're really wasn't a lot of remorse of her at that point. She had other things going on her agenda than taking care of her children at the time," Reichard said.
The child was taken to Lawrence and Memorial Hospital and treated for hypothermia. She is now home and recovering, according to the the child's grandfather.
Police say it's probable the girl could have been outside for more than 2.5 hours based on her condition when found.
"We have a time period after midnight until 4:30 a.m., when the child was found when she could have been wandering around," Reichard said.
Reyes was charged with risk of injury to a minor. Her attorney says she has no previous criminal history. He also says DCF is involved and continues to be involved with the family.
Reyes' grandfather has taken custody of the 4-year-old girl, police said, while the other two children are being cared for by other family members.
Reyes is being held on $250,000 cash bond and is due back in court March 13.