Woman arrested after child reported missing, police find children unsupervised

Woman arrested after child reported missing, police find children unsupervised

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A North Carolina woman was arrested after a five-year-old child was reported missing by other children Saturday. She told police she "did not see a problem" with a 12-year-old child and 11-year-old child supervising a 5-year-old child on the beach without adult supervision.

According to the Horry County Police Department, Shannon Watts, 36, was charged with unlawful neglect of a child, and taken to the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

Police say they responded to North Waccamaw Drive in Garden City around 6:45 p.m. in reference to a missing 5-year-old child. Officers found the missing child's 8 and 11-year-old siblings alone and unsupervised, according to the police report. The children reported the girl missing near the Garden City pier, and they also told police that they were looking for the woman in charge of their care, who “had a few drinks.”

The police later found the missing child and Watts located at beach access 15, officials say. Police say Watts smelled like alcohol, had glassy eyes, slurred speech, and drool in the corners of her mouth. According to police, Watts said the children in her custody said they wanted to go to the Garden City pier.

According to the children, they walked one mile to the pier when the 5-year-old went missing. The 5-year-old child said she began to walk back in the direction from which they came, and located Watts on her own.

Police were notified that the children's family members were in the area on vacation, and the children were transported to those family members, officials say. Police also contacted the Department of Social Services, according to the report.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.