Mar 5, 2014
But unfortunately it wasn’t for a teddy bears picnic ... in fact, it was because of their parents’ meth addiction.
In a twisted Hansel and Gretal meets Teddy Bears Picnic plot, a Florida couple has been arrested for abandoning their young offspring in the woods.
Michael and Sarah Butcher were charged after illegally parking their red truck in a private park in Florida.
So agitated were they after the arrest, security at the holiday park were inclined to call the police.
“He was high, he was on something that’s for sure,” said security guard John Kersey.
Parents accused of child neglect
Arrested for loitering and prowling, police decided to search the couple’s car for signs of trouble.
And trouble they found.
Authorities discovered crystal meth in the glove department, complete with kit including syringe and a burnt spoon, according to the official arrest report.
“He was speaking in a loud manner and acting strange ... he seemed to be quite agitated,” said witness Arthur Giasson.
Claiming to be brother and sister, the couple’s con was quickly crushed after police found more meth in Michael Butcher’s pocket in prison.
But it gets worse.
Police then received a call from their deputy claiming to have found three “very dirty, hungry, and cold,” children walking in the woods.
According to police, the children — aged 6, 8 and 10 — had told them the names of their parents — Michael and Sarah — which fit the description of the allegedly drugged-up duo.
The kids reportedly walked more than 3 kilometres before finding help.
Michael is a 30-year-old former Alabama cop who resigned from his position in 2012 after an arrest on charges of “unlawful possession of a controlled substance”, reports the Daily Mountain Eagle .
“The information was handled in the same manner as we handle this kind of information about anyone else,” Jasper Police Chief Connie Rowe said.
“We conducted an investigation and Mr. Butcher, who had been on leave due to a medical issue, tendered his letter of resignation before our investigators could get the warrant for his arrest in hand.”
Michael Butcher was charged with possession of a controlled substance. He and wife Sarah were both charged with child neglect.
The couple has been held without bond, meanwhile the children are now in the care of Florida’s Department of Children and Families.
It is not yet known if the couple admitted to abandoning their children.