ALEXANDRIA — A neighbor called police when she heard a child crying outside her door, according to authorities. The 11-month-old girl was crawling unattended and “drenched wet.”
Jessica Lynn Carter, 34, is charged with Level 6 felony neglect of a dependent and Class A misdemeanor for violating a no contact order.
Alexandria police were dispatched to an apartment in the 100 block of North Harrison Street at 12:25 a.m. Sept. 5, according to an affidavit of probable cause by Alexandria Officer Cody Anderson.
Anderson said when he arrived he found an empty child’s stroller with pieces of pizza next to the stroller outside in the rain. He said Alexandria Officer Kyle Williams found a piece of mail belonging to Carter in the stroller.
Williams went to Carter’s apartment and asked her where her child was, and Carter told him with a neighbor, according to the affidavit. Carter said the neighbor volunteered to watch the child so she could get some rest.
Williams said when he checked Carter’s information, he learned she was wanted on a warrant out of Anderson City Court. Carter, was arrested on the warrant and taken to the Madison County Jail.
The neighbor told police she heard the child crying outside while the woman was baking a pie, according to the affidavit. She said Carter’s daughter never cries and when she opened her apartment door, she found the child alone in a hallway.
The neighbor said she heard voices at the bottom of the stairs and took the child inside and waited, but no one came to her door for the child, according to the affidavit. She later went to Carter’s apartment.
Carter was incoherent and “wasn’t making heads or tails,” the neighbor told police. The neighbor said she was trying to change the little girl’s diaper and find dry clothing, according to the affidavit. She told Carter to take a shower and come to get the child from her when she was done.
The neighbor said Carter said she would be over to get the girl in an hour but never did. She said she went back to Carter’s apartment and noticed Carter’s mother, Janice Johnson, was also in the apartment.
Anderson said he went to talk with Johnson, who told him the little girl was laying next to her when she went to bed, according to the affidavit. Johnson said when she woke up, the child was gone. She said she asked Carter where the little girl was, and her daughter said she didn’t know.
Johnson told police Carter has schizophrenia and hasn’t been taking her medication, according to the affidavit.
Anderson said he ran Johnson’s information through dispatch and learned there was also a warrant for her arrest out of Anderson City Court. There is also a protective order to keep Carter away from Johnson, he said.
Johnson was arrested on the warrant and also taken to the Madison County Jail, according to the affidavit.
The Department of Child Services was contacted and took the 11-month-old into the department’s care.