JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A local mom is under arrest, charged with drugging her three young children. And as Action News has learned, a state investigator and a Good Samaritan may have saved those childrens' lives.
The suspect, Liara McGlothan, a 30-year-old mother of three, was living at the Washington Heights Apartments on the Northside. Police say she had been Baker Acted earlier this month, committed to a mental facility for treatment. That sparked an investigation by the Department of Children and Families.
DCF Spokesman John Harrell said, "We can tell you that we had not found any evidence of abuse or neglect of the children, prior to Saturday."
Harrell said DCF got new information, a tip from a Good Samaritan which prompted a DCF case worker to go back to the McGlothan home for another check. "We knocked at the doors. No one would let us in, but we heard some noises coming from the home, children inside," he said.
DCF called police and by the time rescuers were able to get inside the apartment, police say the kids, age 3, 7, and 11, were unconscious. Their mom was too. The family was taken to the hospital, and once one of the children came to, police say the child told investigators their mom had given them pills which would "make them sleep for a long time."
Action News asked Harrell, "What if DCF had not gone on Saturday?" He replied, "You know, you hate to assume the worst." He went on to say, "We're glad that we did get that info from the public. That's what we depend on to be able to protect these children."
Harrell says the children are out of the hospital and will be fine. Right now, they're in protective state custody.
McGlothan is now being held in the Duval County jail. She's charged with child abuse.
DCF says it relies on Good Samaritans to help them find and save abused kids. If you suspect abuse or neglect, you can report it by calling the DCF Hotline at 1-800-962-2873.