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Mother found unconscious, accused of child abuse after drugs found in drinking cup

A 35-year-old mother, found unconscious with her 15-month-old in her vehicle, was charged with felony child abuse after fentanyl was found inside the toddler’s drinking cup, the Union County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies were called to the Aldi in Indian Trail last week to check on an unconscious woman behind the wheel of her running vehicle.

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Deputies woke up Gabriel Ball, 35, who seemed to be severely impaired due to narcotics, the sheriff said.

Ball’s child was unrestrained inside the vehicle also.

The deputies began an impaired-driving investigation, which resulted in her arrest.

That was when deputies found Xanax on Ball and some “illicit liquid fentanyl,” which was stored inside her child’s cup.

The child was taken to a hospital and evaluated due to the possibility they were exposed to the deadly drugs.

“We are thankful to report that the infant child is doing well and our personnel are working closely with Union County Child Protective Services to ensure the child receives the proper supervision and care,” the sheriff’s office stated.

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Ball was charged with:

  • Driving while impaired

  • Felony child abuse

  • Misdemeanor child abuse

  • Felony probation violation

  • Simple possession of a SCH IV controlled substance

  • Felony possession of a SCH I controlled substance

Ball remains in custody Thursday night under a $105,000 secured bond. This investigation is ongoing.

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