Woman arrested for child neglect after police find her passed out in CVS parking lot

BUCKHANNON – A Buckhannon woman was arrested Thursday after police allegedly found her and another individual passed out in a vehicle in the CVS parking lot with a small child in the back seat.

Cary Lane Bennett, 35, was arrested for child neglect creating risk of serious injury or death, a felony, and possession of a controlled substance, heroin, a misdemeanor, according to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Patrolman Angel McCauley with the Buckhannon Police Department.

The file states that at 12:25 p.m. Thursday, McCauley and assisting officer Patrolman Tanner Collins with the BPD were dispatched to the CVS parking to complete a welfare check. When McCauley and Collins arrived on scene, they allegedly found Bennett and a male passed out in a white Ford Fusion with temporary tags.

Collins woke Bennett up and helped her out of the car, at which point he reportedly discovered a small plastic bag containing multiple heroin stamps on her left leg, according to the file. Bennett was placed under arrest and transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital for observation; however, she was later arraigned and is currently being held on an $80,000 cash or surety bond at Tygart Valley Regional Jail.

McCauley removed a small child from the back seat of the vehicle.

“He was covered in marker and had no food or water within reach,” she wrote in the complaint. “He also had a saggy diaper on.”

A CVS store clerk reviewed security footage and determined the vehicle had been parked in the same spot since 10:13 a.m. Thursday – more than two hours prior to officers arriving on scene.

As of Friday morning, the male in the vehicle had not been charged.

When reached for comment Friday morning, McCauley said she could not disclose additional details due to the nature of the case.

“There’s not going to be much released now other than what’s in the criminal complaint because the investigation is still very much ongoing,” she said. “There are so many different parts to it.”

The Buckhannon Fire Department, Upshur EMS and the county animal control officer also responded to the scene.

If convicted on the child neglect charge, Bennett faces a penalty of imprisonment for one to five years in the state penitentiary, a fine of $1,000 to $3,000, or both. A conviction of possession of a controlled substance carries a penalty of confinement in jail for a term of 90 days to six months, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

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