A Cullman woman was charged with child endangerment after paramedics found her holding her newborn at home with the umbilical cord still attached, and the nameless infant girl tested positive for marijuana in her system.
Tessa Leni Ogle, 33, of Cullman, was arrested after turning herself in at the Cullman County Detention Center on Thursday, August 1. Assistant Police Chief Craig Green said the city is currently working with the Department of Human Resources on the case of Ogle who gave birth to the child at her residence on the 700 block of 5th Avenue on June 11 at 7 a.m.
“The woman gave birth to her baby at home and didn’t tell anyone,” Green said. “Her boyfriend came home to find her holding a newborn and the umbilical cord was still attached.”
Green said that Ogle instructed her partner to go to a drug store to get scissors to cut the cord and materials to help clean her up and formula.
“The boyfriend was on his way to the drug store and saw an ambulance so he flagged the vehicle down,” Green said. “He requested help- asking what scissors to buy after letting them know that his girlfriend had just given birth at home. The paramedics offered to help and asked to follow him to the home to check and see if the mother and baby were okay.”
Green said the paramedics entered the home and assisted Ogle and the baby, after leaving, they reported to DHR that they were concerned about the welfare of the child. Officers on the scene reportedly noted no obvious preparations had been made for the child.
“Within a few hours, the infant was taken to CRMC to be examined and it was there they discovered that the newborn had marijuana in her system,” Green said. “We were called into the case at the request of DHR. We then issued the warrant for chemical endangerment of the child.”
DHR has since taken custody of the child and the infant has been placed in foster care.
Ogle is being held at the Cullman County Detention Center and it was reported that she has already bonded out. Chemical Endangerment of a Child is a Class C felony.
This charge states: “Knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally causes or permits a child to be exposed to, to ingest or inhale, or to have contact with a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia as defined in Section 13A-12-260. A violation under this subdivision is a Class C felony.”
“We want to thank DHR and District Attorney Wilson Blaylock and his office for working with us and allowing us to work with them,” Green said. “We appreciate Sergeant Marsha Norris and the work she is doing on the case. We know this is a difficult issue. The infant is the victim and she is in our prayers.”
* Lauren Estes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 256-734-2131, ext. 137.