The bar patrons did not expect to be asked to take care of the baby, let alone wait for hours for her to return.
A mother has been accused of abandoning her nine-month-old baby at a bar with strangers she had just met. She returned hours later under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. The 35-year-old was so intoxicated that the strangers who were taking care of her child thought it would be safer for the baby to not be returned to the mother, fearing harm. The woman from Alabama was recognized as Sara Jean Blakeman and was arrested by the Orange Beach Police Department. She has been charged with public intoxication and providing false information to law enforcement, reported the Miami Herald.
Orange Beach Police say an intoxicated mother left her 9-month-old at Pirate's Cove Saturday.https://t.co/ETjznsG8Ac— ABC 33/40 News (@abc3340) July 6, 2021
The police arrived at Pirates Cove bar and grill where Blakeman had earlier befriended a group of people whom she requested to take care of her baby for a while. They did not expect to be asked to take care of the baby, let alone wait for hours for her to return. Four hours to be exact. The employees at Pirates Cove assisted in trying to locate Blakeman to no avail. When she finally returned, the babysitters found her in an intoxicated state. When they refused to return the baby she was apparently shocked and angered that these strangers were keeping her baby from her. It is when she got hostile that they decided to call the cops because she did not look like she would be able to take care of a child.
Witnesses said the woman was drunk when she came back for the child. https://t.co/3OfknHowBJ— The Sacramento Bee (@sacbee_news) July 6, 2021
“This is a first for me I have never actually seen a woman leave her nine-month-old child with somebody she had just met for any reason,” Lt. Trent Johnson with Orange Beach Police told NBC 15. When Blakeman was being arrested, she gave the officers a fake name. This lead to an additional obstruction charge to her arrest. “The physical well-being of the child was ok," Johnson said. Patrons had noted that the baby had a dirty diaper and that her bottle was filled with dirty water as opposed to formula or something clean. The baby girl is now in state protective custody with the Baldwin County Department of Human Resources as the case is investigated.
Police say she also gave officers a fake name when she was arrested. https://t.co/usRB7xF73O— Brianna Hollis (@BriHollisNEWS) July 5, 2021
It is still unclear if Blakeman will be getting her baby back. She is currently in jail without bond and her first court appearance will likely be later this week. Police say she could face additional charges as well. "I’ve seen people come back from a horrible situation and get their children back but those are the ones who are willing to go through the steps you have to go through and they are extensive," Johnson explained and added, "The legal system catches a lot of flack for not protecting children but from what I’ve seen they do step in and you have to go through a very extensive process to get your kids back."
Blakeman is also wanted on charges of VOP: Possession of Controlled Substance and Possession of Marijuana. While the baby may be too young to comprehend what happened, it could still have an impact on her growing up. "Between 4-7 months of age, babies develop a sense of 'object permanence,'" according to Kids Health. "They're realizing that things and people exist even when they're out of sight." This is why some babies cry until their parent comes into view again.
Around nine months of age babies are still uncertain about being left by their parents. They may lead to the child developing separation anxiety that can last from infancy through the elementary school years. While even the best of parents will have to deal with this, neglectful parenting has even more severe consequences on a child. Children of uninvolved parents generally perform poorly in nearly every area of life as per researchers.