Rutherfordton mother charged after infant found left in car
A Rutherfordton woman is facing child abuse and drug charges after her 2-month-old son was found alone in the back seat of a car.
Charleigh Ellison, 21, is charged with felony negligent child abuse -- serious bodily injury, felony possession of methamphetamine, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. She had her initial appearance Friday before a judge, and is in the Rutherford county jail, on $60,000 bond.
According to court documents, the 2-month-old had to be treated at Rutherford Regional Hospital for heat exhaustion and severe dehydration after the ordeal.
The father of the baby, Ricky Bradshaw, says he was frantic on Thursday trying to reach Ellison, who wasn’t answering her phone.
Bradshaw said he found his infant son around 10:30 a.m. in the back seat of his rental car, which he claims was parked at Ellison’s ex-boyfriend's house.
“He (Logan) was crying,” Bradshaw said. “I want Charleigh to go get help for her drug addiction. Whatever that means. It’s the whole basis for all of this. She knows she has a problem.”
Sarah Warrick with Rutherford county family services said the agency sees many unfortunate cases similar to this.
"Especially here in the county," said Warrick. "We've noticed a surge of opioid problems and this absolutely contributes to the issue. Not long ago, I heard about a child being left in a parking lot. The parents had passed out in the car from overdosing."
Bradshaw, Logan's father, said he knows it was a very close call and realizes the outcome could have been much worse.
“I’m just relieved that he’s fine and that he’s safe back with me," he said. "He was crying when I found him, but the car wasn’t hot and it was parked in the shade.”