A Charleston woman was arrested recently after Jackson County authorities found her toddler wandering in traffic in Ripley.
Amanda Jo Bennet, 31, 1418 Washington St. East, Charleston, was charged with child neglect creating risk of injury. Jackson County Magistrate Jacqueline Casto set bond at $100,000. Bennet was incarcerated at South Central Regional Jail.
On Sept. 3, around 10:44 p.m., Patrolman J.P. Anderson of the Ripley Police Department was contacted by the Jackson County 911 Center. Dispatchers told Anderson a man named John Lowe was at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department reporting he had found a small child running in the road near Evergreen Florists and Christian Supply located at 218 South Church Street.
Anderson arrived at the Sheriff’s Department and spoke with Lowe, who stated he was traveling through the area and saw a child near the roadway. As Lowe slowed down, the child ran out into traffic and was almost struck by an oncoming vehicle.
Lowe grabbed the child and took him to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.
Officers identified the child as Noah Bennet’s son. Police located Noah Bennet and told him his son was at the Sheriff’s Department, according to documents filed in Jackson County Magistrate Court.
Noah Bennet told police he was looking for a place to stay because the family was homeless and had left his son with his wife, Amanda. While Anderson spoke with Noah Bennet, officers continued to look for Amanda Bennet.
Noah Bennet told officers that the last time he saw Amanda Bennet, they were behind the Evergreen Florist and Christian Supply Store. Officers checked the business and found Amanda Bennet in the back of an unlocked van located on the lot.
During questioning at the Sheriff’s Department, Amanda Bennet told officers her son was with her husband and that her mother was supposed to take them to Charleston the next day so they could go to a homeless shelter in Parkersburg.
Amanda Bennet claimed that she was by the gazebo near Ripley Police Headquarters and was down by the creek with the child. She said she remembered Noah Bennet taking the child with him toward Ginos but could not remember anything after that.
Amanda Bennet told officers she had not slept much and she could not remember much; she only remembered being around the Ripley Municipal Building. She could not recall where officers had picked her up earlier. When asked if drugs were involved in her memory loss, she said she was not currently using drugs but had in the past, according to court records.
Anderson then interviewed Noah Bennet and asked if he was with his son. He stated he was with his wife and son earlier by the gazebo near the police department. He said they walked together until they reached Evergreen Florist and Christian Supply. Noah Bennet stated that’s where he left Amanda Bennet and the child. He also stated that both were wide awake.