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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2007
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Medicated mother allegedly left 2 children home alone

By Holly Hollman
hhollman@decaturdaily.com 340-2445

ATHENS — Sheriff Mike Blakely said a woman who appeared to be a stranded motorist allegedly turned out to be a medicated mother who left two young children home alone with the door unlocked.

Blakely said a deputy found a van parked on Ripley Road on Monday night. While the deputy was there, another vehicle pulled up with the van's driver, a woman with a son.

"The driver apparently ran out of gas and got a ride from someone to get more," Blakely said.

The deputy noticed, however, that the van's driver had slurred speech, stumbled when she walked and nearly dropped her 2-year-old son, Blakely said.

The sheriff identified the woman as Beverly Ziegler, 26, of Athens. Blakely said she stays wherever she can find a place.

"The deputy helped her to the van and found out from her that she had taken some medication," Blakely said. "She had medicine in mislabeled bottles and no prescriptions for some of it."

Blakely said the deputy told her she was going to jail for public intoxication, and Ziegler allegedly asked, "What will happen to my other children?"

The deputy asked her what children, Blakely said, and learned that Ziegler's other two children, ages 3 and 4, were alone at a home on Bell Road with the door unlocked.

"She was two miles or more away from the house," Blakely said. "I don't know why she drove off. I don't think she knew why she drove off."

Blakely said the Limestone County Department of Human Resources took the children into custody.

Ziegler was in jail Tuesday, with additional charges pending, including child endangerment.

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