Pregnant woman in hot car with kids overdoses on cocaine, deputies say

Newborn baby in critical condition

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

Marsha Forrester

POLK COUNTY, Fla. - A pregnant woman had to undergo an emergency cesarean section after she overdosed on cocaine while in a hot car with two other children, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said they were called to a Publix parking lot in Winter Haven shortly before 4 p.m. Monday and found Marsha Forrester, 36, unresponsive in a vehicle, slumped over the steering wheel, along with two children who are both under the age of 5.

The vehicle was running but the air conditioning did not work, according to the report. The children were sweaty and crying but otherwise unharmed. Officials estimated that it was at least 100 degrees inside the vehicle.

Deputies said they immediately knew Forrester's pinpoint pupils and labored breathing were signs of an overdose so they quickly administered two doses of Narcan but it still took several minutes for Forrester to regain consciousness.

Forrester was taken to a women's hospital where she underwent an emergency C-section due to complications with the baby's vital signs. The baby was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit and tested positive for cocaine, according to the affidavit. The newborn remains in critical condition.

When deputies interviewed Forrester the next day, they said she told them she stopped using cocaine early in her pregnancy up until a few days prior, when she used the drug on two occasions.

She said the cocaine she used Monday immediately caused her to become tired, a reaction she never had before, according to the report.

"I'm both furious and heartbroken about this. Two small children and a baby who was due to be born soon were put into serious danger all because this woman wanted to get high. She chose cocaine over the safety of these little ones," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Forrester was arrested after she was released from the hospital on two counts of negligent child abuse without great bodily harm.

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