On Sunday, an 8-year-old Iowa boy wandered into a neighborhood gathering in his hometown of Des Moines, and the residents immediately knew something was wrong. 

According to a criminal complaint, the child had been wandering around in the sun for hours and “appeared to be extremely lethargic and in a state of physical distress from the heat.”

He told his neighbors that he was unable to wake up his mother, 35-year-old Morgan Brown-Edmundson.

They escorted the child home, where they found his mother and two other children passed out. That’s when the neighbors contacted police.

Polk Country Jail

Officers arrived and found the mother “under the influence of something.” Des Moines police spokesperson Sgt. Paul Parizek said:

“It was clear to officers that [Brown-Edmundson] was more irritated with the adults that brought her kid home than she was concerned with the kids.”

Police also located a 6-year-old child, who appeared “very lethargic” and was difficult to wake up.

The mother and three children were taken to a nearby hospital. On the way there, the 8-year-old told police that the mother often gave him and his siblings sleeping pills during the day, Fox 2 reports. 

Security staff at the hospital later found open alcohol containers inside the mother’s purse. She admitted to police that she “drank more than enough and was over the limit.” 

Brown-Edmundson was arrested and charged with three counts of child endangerment for drugging her children. They have since been taken from her care. 

The mother did not give a reason for giving her children the sleeping pills. She was released from jail on Monday.

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