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PD: Missing Phoenix girls left home after mother took fentanyl, passed out

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Posted at 7:37 AM, Oct 10, 2021

Editor's note: ABC15 has chosen not to name the mom. Because the girls have been found and are safe, we have removed their names from the story.

An Arizona mom is facing charges of child abuse after she reportedly passed out while under the influence of drugs and left her two daughters unsupervised and able to escape their apartment, prompting an urgent search by authorities, police said. The girls were found safe hours later wandering outside.

The two girls — aged three and four — were reported missing Saturday night, last seen at their apartment near 16th and Missouri avenues, according to Phoenix Police Department.

On Sunday, Phoenix police said the girls had been found safe. The girls' family members, obviously, relieved to have them home again.

Police search for 2 missing girls last seen in Phoenix Saturday

Courtesy of Rascheed Sterling Jr.

According to police paperwork, the mother of the children told detectives that she had a substance abuse problem. She reportedly gave up her parental rights to both children a year ago, the documents stated.

The mom also told police, according to documents, that she was with a man earlier in the day, who allegedly robbed another man for a pound of marijuana with the intention of selling it to someone else.

Documents said the mom admitted to taking two pills believed to be fentanyl, which caused her to lose consciousness.

While passed out, the girls left the home and were found by another woman. That woman recognized the girls, police said, and went to their apartment and tried to wake the mother, but was unsuccessful. She then took the girls to a friend's apartment nearby, according to authorities.

The girls were eventually taken to a local YMCA center, near 17th and Missouri avenues, police said.

Police said the mom reported the children missing after she woke up. The children were missing from 6 p.m. Saturday to 11:30 a.m. Sunday — more than 17 hours later.

The mom was booked into jail on two charges of child abuse. The Arizona Department of Child Safety is also investigating the incident, official said.

"This is the best possible resolution we could have had in a case like this," Phoenix Police Sergeant Ann Justus said.