A father is accused of getting high on heroin next to his 3 year-old daughter while sitting in the backseat of a car, according to the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
Shelby Murtagh, 23, faces several charges; including drug possession, and contributing to the delinquency of a child after he was found unresponsive in the parking lot of a Target store along S. Tamiami Trail in Fort Myers Sunday.
When deputies arrived Murtagh reportedly was lying on the ground in the parking lot. He was taken to FGCU hospital by EMS however he didn't stay there long. Murtagh "took off running down the hallway, attempting to escape," according to his arrest report.
This incident is the latest case of a parent getting high around their little ones.
A North Port grandmother who witnessed her daughter battle heroin addiction says the addiction often takes precedent over parenting. "She went from being a normal size person to nothing but skin and bones, " said Susan McNichol. "It's a nightmare," said McNichol.
She smiles now talking about her daughter Angie who is going on a decade sober, but she'll never forget the tough times when she witnessed her daughter make one heartbreaking decision after another.
"If I hadn't taken the kids I don't know what would've happened to them. I couldn't leave and leave the kids with her even if she would've charged me with kidnapping" said McNichol.
It was a risk she was willing to take to protect her grandchildren from the addiction that had taken over their mother's life. "There were a lot of times I'd be out looking for her because i knew she was out living on the street," said McNichol.
During the height of her daughter's battle with heroin addiction McNichol was granted full custody of one of her granddaughters; her second grandchild went to live with her biological father.
She hopes by sharing her story she can help prevent another child from having to witness the horrors of heroin addiction. "You got to do something right away, call the police, take care of those kids, get them out of that situation," said McNichol.