DELBARTON — The mother of two young children was arrested on New Year’s Day after a neighbor called Mingo County 911 to report that the children had been left unattended.
The criminal complaint filed by West Virginia State Police Trooper First Class D.C. Moore and Troopers T.G. Kania III and J.J. Dean states that Kristy Hicks Ray, 29, of Delbarton, was observed staggering down U.S. Rt. 52 toward her residence after being gone for an undisclosed amount of time while her two sons, ages 6 and 2, were home alone. What was even more alarming was that the 6 year-old was said to have become concerned about his mother being gone and crossed the roadway by himself and went to a neighbor’s house for help. The neighbor immediately went to the residence and took custody of the toddler and called police to alert them of the situation.
Upon making contact with the mother, the troopers documented in their report that Ray was discovered to have slurred speech, glassy, bloodshot eyes and they could detect the smell of alcohol on her breath. A Child Protective Services worker was called to the scene to assist in placement of the children.
Ray was taken into custody and was charged with child neglect resulting in risk of injury, which is a felony and carries a possible prison sentence of 1-3 years plus a fine if she is found guilty of the crime. Ray was arraigned before Mingo County Magistrate Pam Newsome and was remanded to the Southwestern Regional Jail on a $10,000 bond, where she still remained as of Thursday evening.