An Opelousas mother is facing child desertion and improper supervision of a minor charge after she gave her children sleeping pills and left them alone in a home while she drove 20 miles away to get piercings.
Erica Lane Sams was arrested on two counts of child desertion and 4 counts improper supervision of a minor.
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office said Sams admitted that she routinely left her children at home alone while she went to work.
The incident happened May 1, when at 4:30 a.m. deputies responded to a call involving a vehicle that was involved in a crash.
On arrival, they located the vehicle upside down in the ditch with no occupants and with the keys still inside.
When officers ran the license plate, they discovered it belonged to Erica Sams of Opelousas and arrived at Sams home to locate the driver, but instead found her three minor children at the residence with no parent or guardian.
A short while later, juvenile detectives arrived at the home and spoke with the 6, 8, and 10-year-old as to the whereabouts of their mother with one of the children stating that their mother left them at home the night before and had not returned.
During the investigation, it was learned that Sams gave her kids a sleeping pill and told them to take a bath then go to bed leaving them in the custody of her 14-year-old son.
The kids were unable to provide detectives with a current phone number for their mother and could not provide any other relative contact information.
The children were eventually transported to the St. Landry Parish Sheriffs Public Safety Complex where officials contacted the Department of Family and Children Services.
Just before 7:00 am, Erica Sams phoned the sheriff’s office from her home to report her car stolen.
After deputies arrived at her home, she was transported to the office for questioning where she told authorities that she left with a girlfriend to go to Lafayette to get some new piercings.
She also admitted to leaving her kids alone and said she always leaves her children alone at night to go to work.
Sams also admitted to giving two of the kids a sleeping pill before she left to go to Lafayette.
She was charged and booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail with a bond set at $5,000,
The children were released to another family member.