MINNEAPOLIS — A woman accused of regularly giving her 12-year-old daughter heroin that led to the girl being hospitalized in Minneapolis for withdrawal allegedly told police that the girl likes to do the same things she does, according to court documents in the case.
The 37-year-old mother, who investigators said admitted to smoking the drug with her daughter three times a day, was charged with felony child endangerment, second-degree drug sale and motor vehicle theft. She also was charged with giving a false name to police, a misdemeanor, the Star Tribune reported Monday.
The woman was arrested on Oct. 14 for allegedly shoplifting at the Mall of America in Bloomington, a Minneapolis suburb. Her daughter was with her at the time.
“This is tragic, it’s sad and troubling and it kind of shocks the conscience — using your 12-year-old to steal and using the proceeds to buy heroin to smoke it with your daughter,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman told WCCO-AM on Monday. “That’s pretty ugly stuff.”
According to charging documents, mother and daughter were caught stealing clothes at Macy’s. The mother initially gave police a false name and said she was from California. When police confirmed that the name she gave did not exist, mother and daughter “began crying loudly and clinging to each other.” The mother was later positively identified and the girl was released to her grandmother.
The next day, the girl’s father called police and said his daughter told him that her mother had been supplying her with heroin and marijuana, and that the girl was “feeling terrible” and appeared to be in withdrawal. The girl was taken to the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. Medical records showed she had both the drugs in her system, and that she told doctors that for the past two or three weeks, her mother had given her heroin to smoke three times a day.
The girl said she and her mother last used the drug Oct. 13. She said that the two were homeless, staying “here and there” and occasionally sleeping in their stolen vehicle.
The mother, whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of her daughter, admitted to being a heroin user. She said she bought the drug for her daughter regularly and admitted to using the drug with her daughter three times daily for the past several weeks, according to court documents.
The documents also said the mother told police that her daughter “likes to do the same things that she does and that (she) ‘most likely’ uses heroin because she does.”
The woman added that she regularly used drugs with the girl to prevent her from getting sick with withdrawal symptoms.
The mother, who is being held in the Hennepin County Jail, made her first court appearance Monday. Her public defender did not immediately return a call seeking comment.