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Colorado Mom Arrested for Abandoning Toddler in Blizzard

Photograph by Facebook

A Colorado mom who abandoned her 2-year-old son in a parked car in subzero temperatures confessed to authorities that she’d been drinking when she lost her son.

Nicole Carmon, a 26-year-old mother of two, is being held on charges of felony negligent child abuse. Her son, who was found half-strapped in his car seat in his mother’s Ford Fusion, suffered for at least 7 and as many as 14 hours alone in the snow-covered vehicle.

In the early morning hours of December 17, Carmon reportedly arrived at her babysitter’s home, asking where her son was. Concerned, the babysitter called the police. When detectives contacted Carmon about the reported missing child, she claimed she’d been in an automobile accident the night before and didn’t remember where she left her son or how she got home. But police say the car showed no evidence of being in an accident.

Court records reveal a troubling trend for the mother. In October of 2009, at the age of 20, Carmon was charged with obstructing an officer and driving under the influence. Again in 2009 and 2013, Carmon was suspected, though not charged, of driving while intoxicated.

Given her history, it wasn’t a stretch for police to question Carmon about the possibility that she’d been drinking when her son went missing. The mother admitted to police that she had “six shots of vodka” the night she claimed to be in a car accident and that she remembered going to a Conoco gas station to find a ride home. Surveillance video from that night showed an intoxicated Carmon stumbling into the gas station, slurring her words and apparently saying “Target” while pointing to the parking lot, before exiting and walking in the direction of her home.

Just east of the gas station, detectives located Carmon’s car, covered in six inches of snow, completely obscuring the traumatized child inside. Eyewitnesses said that the boy was "in distress" and not moving when police rescued him. No updates have been provided about the his condition, other than he is alive and being treated at a local area hospital for severe hypothermia and frostbite.

It is unclear where her other child, a young girl, is currently staying.

On her Facebook page, which has since been deactivated, Carmon posted a recent picture showing off her family Christmas tree, with her daughter and son in the background (seen above). By all accounts, they looked like a normal happy family.

In a comment exchange on her profile picture, which was dated December 10, Carmon tells a woman, who she refers to as “Aunt Donna,” that her son had recently broken her cell phone. Nicole later told her aunt it would cost $200 for a new phone and rather than replace it, she had more important things—like buying Christmas presents for her kids—to worry about.

It’s possible that on the night in question, along with making the terrible choice to drink and drive, Carmon didn’t have access to a cell phone to call for help.

Now, instead of celebrating Christmas with her children, one child is in the hospital, both are without their mother, and Carmon is sitting in a jail cell. A court appearance was scheduled for December 21.

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