ST.CHARLES, MO (KTVI) – A St. Charles County mother faces child endangerment and drug related charges. Police say she overdosed on heroin in front of her children, ages 7 and 8.
“It is a sad story, but we are happy the children are safe now,” said St. Charles County Police Public Affairs Officer Val Joyner.
Amber Lynn Strong lived in an RV Park near Veterans Memorial Drive and Beverly Drive. Police say she was cooking a pizza when she overdosed and became unconscious. Her 7-year-old daughter tried to take the pizza out of the oven.
“She injured her hand trying to take some pizza out of the oven that was burning,” said Joyner.
That 7-year-old then told her 8-year-old brother they needed to find someone to help their mother.
“So she took the older brother and they walked out of the home in search of help,” said Joyner.
Police say the two tried walking to a gas station a half mile away. A stranger noticed the children walking along Veterans Memorial Parkway Monday night at approximately 9:30pm and called police.
“If it wasn’t for that call, who knows how this story would have turned out,” said Joyner.
Strong is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of heroin. Heroin is no stranger to the St. Louis area. Just ask Blair Malench, a physician’s assistant with SSM Heath Care – St. Louis.
“We see heroin users on a daily basis,” said Malench. “It tears people away from their families. People end up being homeless from financial issues from the cost burden of it,” Malench said.
He sees cases ranging from a skin infection to an overdose.
Joyner says Strong’s children are now safe and with other family members. Police provided them with backpacks filled with supplies. The St. Charles County Police recently launched a program giving officers backpacks filled with supplies so they can give them to children in similar situations.