Deputies: Mother found passed out in car with freezing toddler on lap

Melisha Harris (Photo: Laurel County Detention Center)
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LONDON, Ky. (WKYT) – Deputies arrested a woman they say they found passed out in a vehicle with a freezing toddler on her lap.

Someone called dispatchers Saturday around 9:30 a.m. saying they saw a woman slumped over the steering wheel on the shoulder of KY 30.

When deputies responded, they said they found Melisha Harris, 40, unresponsive with her engine off and the vehicle in the drive position.

Officials said a toddler was on her lap wearing only a t-shirt and diaper. Deputies said the child was shaking and cold to the touch.

"Its arms, legs, hands, feet had already started turning blue," said Gilbert Acciardo, public affairs deputy for the Laurel County Sheriff's Office. "They immediately grabbed the child up, took it back to one of the warm cruisers and called an ambulance."

The child was rushed to St. Joseph London where officials said it had a body temperature of 95.1°. Deputies estimated the temperature outside was in the low 30s when they found the woman.

"We were so fortunate that a citizen phoned us because this could have very easily had tragic consequences today," Acciardo said.

Deputies determined Harris was under the influence and arrested her.

Harris faces DUI, criminal abuse, and resisting arrest among other charges. She was taken to the Laurel County Detention Center.

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