A Burger King customer suspected a woman was sick in the bathroom, and reported it to the restaurant’s manager.
But the reality was much, much worse, according to police in Chillicothe, Ohio.
A Burger King manager checked on the woman around 2:30 p.m. Friday after she’d been holed up in a handicap stall for an “extended period.” She found the woman locked in the stall speaking incoherently, and assumed she was “on something,” a police report said.
Paramedics soon arrived at the scene and found 26-year-old Elizabeth Sanders, of Waverly, Ohio, sitting on the toilet. Blood was all over the stall, and a substance that appeared to be heroin was on the floor beside her, police said. Sanders told them she’d had a miscarriage.
She hadn’t: When authorities looked between Sanders’ legs and into the toilet bowl, they saw a living newborn child resting face up in the water, the police report said.
Paramedics told Sanders to stand — and when she got up, the floating newborn rolled over so its face was down in the toilet water, according to police. A medic quickly scooped up the child and noted that it was breathing. Sanders and her newborn were transported separately to the hospital, according to police.
The baby was in fair condition, and was eventually moved to the hospital’s nursery. Emergency room officials had to give Sanders Narcan, a drug to reverse overdoses, police said.
Meanwhile, Sanders’ boyfriend, 26-year-old Zachary Frey, was in the Burger King parking lot passed out on drugs, according to police.
Frey drooled, slurred his words and began nodding off as police spoke to him. An officer searched his shorts and found heroin, and then Frey failed a field sobriety test, police said.
Frey was arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia. He has also been charged with operating a vehicle while impaired, WTTE reports.
When officers interviewed Frey at jail, he told them his girlfriend had been eight months pregnant. Frey told officers that Sanders had used heroin “back in the day,” but “had not used in over a week,” according to the police report.
That’s when authorities informed Frey that his girlfriend had just gone into labor at the Burger King, police said. He was surprised it hadn’t been a miscarriage and became “emotional,” according to the police report.
Earlier on Friday, Sanders’ mother had called police to report that her daughter was “9 months pregnant and addicted to heroin,” according to the police report. The mother said her daughter “was 3.5 centimeters dilated and already lost her mucus plug.”
Officers had begun searching for Sanders when she turned up at the Burger King, police said.
Sanders was arrested on an unrelated theft warrant after she was released from the hospital. Interviewed in jail, Sanders told officers the baby was due Aug. 5 — two days after she gave birth. Sanders also said Frey was the father, according to the police report.
Asked what happened on Friday before she went into labor, Sanders said “she thought she had to pee and then it happened and she does not remember anything else after that,” according to the police report.
Sanders admitted “she snorts heroin,” according to the police report. But she said she thought she was “doing valium that day. She said she did not think she had heroin.” Sanders told officers that the last time she had done heroin was a few days before going into labor, according to police.
When detectives inquired about her child, Sanders said “he was showing some signs of withdrawals but was doing well,” the police report said. She told authorities she would go into rehab after she was released in hopes of getting custody of her child.
Sanders said “she is worried about her mother because of all the stress. She said her mom has had two heart attacks and she does not need that on her conscious,” the police report said.
Sanders pleaded not guilty to the theft charge in court on Monday and was released from custody, the Chillicothe Gazette reports.
Police said the baby was still in the hospital as of Tuesday, according to the newspaper.