The 38-year-old mother Jennifer Jean Westfall is accused of leaving her two children on the side of a road last month and then driving away.
According to police, Westfall, from Wake County, North Carolina, allegedly dropped her 9-year-old daughter and 19-month-old son off on the side of the road in Cary on October 2, as reported by ABC 7.
Another mother saw the occurrence and immediately called a Reedy Creek school officer, who then retrieved the children and brought them inside a school building.
Westfall was arrested by Fuquay-Varina police recently and is charged with misdemeanor child abuse. Her children, on the other hand, were put in child care.
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In an interview with the reporters from local Raleigh, N.C., station WTVD, the single mother narrated a different version of the incidents.
According to her, she dropped off the kids and watched a woman lead them into the building before she headed out.
“I saw the lady walk and take my kid’s hand, so I knew they were in safe hands,” she said.
Apparently, she thought this was a legal way of leaving them. However, North Carolina’s Safe Surrender laws stated that just an infant up to seven days old could be lawfully surrendered anonymously to “a responsible adult.”
Westfall couldn't hold back her tears. She explained, “I feel terrible for what I did.”
“I’ve always had my kids’ back no matter what. I was just so tired. Absolutely tired. It was wrong, but, you know, I, I’ve always fought for my kids my whole life. I’ve always fought for them, and I will fight no matter what.”
The overwhelmed mother was discharged from prison and is expected in court next month.
“I know what I did was wrong but I just, I was so tired of doing this by myself,” Westfall said.
“I have the strength to do what I need to do, but I don’t have the skills to make the income that I need to take care of my family, and nobody will hire me. I’ve been around everywhere. And with these charges, I just don’t see how I’m ever getting my kids back,” she added.
A person sentenced for misdemeanor child abuse — but with no prior convictions - can face up to 60 days in jail in North Carolina.