Crime

Toddler left in backseat as duo passed out from drugs in Walmart lot, police say

Two people face charges after passing out in a Walmart parking lot from drug use with a 2-year-old in the back seat, according to an arrest report.

Horry County Police charged Ashley Justice Bowman, 22, of Madison, North Carolina, and Jason Scott Wagner, 24, of Mayodan, North Carolina, in connection to the case. Bowman faces charges of unlawful neglect of a child by a legal custodian, disorderly conduct, possession of a controlled substance and possession of heroin. Wagner faces charges of possession of marijuana and disorderly conduct.

Shortly before 1 p.m. on Saturday, a Horry County police officer went to the Kings Road Walmart in Myrtle Beach for a shoplifting case, but was flagged down because two people were passed out in a vehicle with a toddler inside.

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Ashley Justice Bowman, 22, of Madison, N.C., and Jason Scott Wagner, 24, of Mayodan, N.C. - JRLDC

When the officer went to the car, he saw Bowman and Wagner asleep in the front seats, according to the report. The officer wrote that they appeared to be “nodding off’ as a result of drug use.

The car’s air conditioning was running and the 2-year-old boy in the back seat appeared in good health, according to the report.

Bowman and Wagner eventually woke up and EMS arrived at the store. Medical staff told the officer that Bowman said she had heroin in her bra, according to the report. Police found heroin and oxycodone pills on Bowman. Officers also found marijuana in the car, which Wagner said he owned.

Bowman’s mother, and the mother’s boyfriend, were inside the Walmart at the time of the incident. When they exited, the officer initially told Bowman’s mother it was likely the child would be released into her care.

Walmart staff said that the mother’s boyfriend stuffed something down his pants. He then went by another car and adjusted his pants before he went over to the scene. Police didn’t find anything on that suspect, but when they went by the other vehicle they found a powdery substance on the ground, according to the report. Officers couldn’t confirm the substance’s contents.

That man provided police his information, which they couldn’t confirm. As a result, the officer wrote he did not feel comfortable releasing the child to Bowman’s mother. The Department of Social Services took the 2-year-old.

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