Grandmother speaks out about toddler abandonment
Posted: Sep 30, 2010 5:03 PM CDT
Posted by Dave Schroeder
It's a story that made most people cringe.
A woman allegedly abandoned her 3-year-old daughter in a grocery story parking lot late Saturday night.
Tonight, her mother tells Fox 28 there's more to the story.
She says her daughter needs help, and she needs to get their side of the story out.
"Fear, panic, anger, frustration, disappointment, everything all at once," are the emotions Alberta Hardin says she felt upon learning that her daughter, Porshae Owens, abandoned her 3 year-old daughter in a Martin's parking lot.
Hardin says her daughter isn't a monster, but is deeply troubled.
"My daughter has some emotional issues going on. She suffers from post-partum(check spelling) depression and she suffers from paranoid schizophrenia," Hardin said.
Hardin provided us with documentation from her daughters' doctor, showing that she suffers from Major Depressive Syndrome.
According to police reports, Owens returned home from Martin's without the child.
That alerted Hardin that something was seriously wrong.
"She said she left her at the store, and I was so enraged, so many emotions at once. I was like 'How could you do that?' as I'm running out the door all at the same time," Hardin recalls.
Police arrested Owens on Saturday night and prosecutors have charged her with neglect of a dependent, a Class D Felony in this case.
"There's just no explanation for that. There's nobody who could come to me as a father and explain why they left their 3 year-old in a parking lot," said South Bend police's Phil Trent.
Hardin insists that her daughter's illness is a reality, and is seeking a court order to get her daughter committed for mental treatment.
"Some people may fear that because she's my daughter that I'm covering for her, but all they have to do if they want to verify what I'm saying, I took her anti-depression medication to the county jail. She wouldn't have a prescription if she didn't have depression, if there weren't some issues going on, if she wasn't hearing voices. You know the doctor wouldn't be willing to write a statement, those things I turned into CPS," Hardin said.
Child Protective Services has been unable to comment on the case.
St. Joseph county prosecutor Mike Dvorak has seen a lot of neglect cases, and says his job requires him to outline the facts in court.
"Any issues that she may have to explain her conduct are certainly something that she has the opportunity to bring to the attention of the court. We have taken the evidence and the facts that we have, and we've found that there is probable cause, that charges should be issued against her," said Dvorak.
Alberta Hardin says her daughter has been receiving treatment as part of Madison Center's outpatient psychiatry program.
She will next be in court on October 13.