Meds may have played role in baby left in parking lot

GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities are investigating whether medication prescribed after a dental procedure played a role in the case of a baby left in a fast food parking lot Friday.

“(The baby’s mom) had a dental procedure the day before,” said Cpt. Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.

Bennett said they are investigating whether medication the mom took after the dental visit impacted her ability to function, thus leading to Friday’s event.

“It was very out of character for her,” said Bennett, referring to the mom having unintentionally left her baby in a car seat in the parking lot of a Grandville McDonald’s.

Bennett said it was apparent the mom, who is in her twenties, was having memory lapses when detectives talked to her after the incident.

She has no criminal history, nor any prior interaction with Children’s Protective Services.

“She was frantic,” Bennett said about the mom’s behavior once she realized her baby was not in the vehicle with her.

The bizarre situation unfolded around 1:30 p.m. Friday. Bennett said the mom had been at the McDonald’s at 2980 44th Avenue in Grandville. She then drove to the Family Fare at 6480 28th Avenue in Hudsonville.

It was at that point she realized the baby was not in the car with her.

Bennett said she immediately went inside Family Fare and reported her child had been kidnaped.

Around the same time, an older couple pulling into Grandville McDonald’s spotted a car seat sitting in a parking space.

They discovered an infant inside, took it inside the restaurant and called police. 

The two law enforcement agencies — the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office and Grandville Police Department — quickly connected the dots.

Bennett said they will forward a report to the prosecutor’s office as well as Children’s Protective Services. However, he does not think criminal charges will follow because the incident appeared to be entirely accidental.

Sheriff’s deputies are still investigating, however, to try determine exactly what went wrong.

Bennett did not know the name of the medication the mom had taken, but said it was prescribed following the dental procedure.

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