Probable cause found in child neglect case

ELKINS — Probable cause was ruled to have been met for the arrest of an Elkins man who was allegedly discovered asleep in a hot car containing a small child.

Ian Carey McElroy, 32, is charged with one felony count of child neglect with risk of serious injury or death. He is free on a $25,000 cash or property bond, or a 10-percent cash, 90-percent personal recognizance bond, set by Randolph County Magistrate Rob Elbon.

The probable cause finding means McElroy’s case will be bound over to the Randolph County Circuit Court for presentation to a grand jury and possible indictment.

Randolph County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Leckta Poling represented the state while McElroy appeared with Morris Davis as defense counsel. Elbon presided.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Randolph County Magistrate Court, on Aug. 25, Elkins Police Department Patrolmen D.T. Sayre and R.A. Summerfield responded to the Tygart Valley Mall in Elkins regarding a male individual who appeared to be “passed out” behind the wheel of a running motor vehicle, with a small child in the back seat.

Upon arrival, Sayre noticed that bystanders had awakened the man, rolled down the windows and checked on the juvenile, who appeared to be “exhausted and sweaty.” Officers spoke with the driver, identified as McElroy, who appeared pale and had red marks around his face, according to court documents.

When McElroy stepped out of the vehicle, a clear case allegedly fell from his lap. Upon opening the case, Sayre found two used syringes and a suboxone package inside, along with a pair of scissors and two glass tubes, one of which contained a white substance, the complaint states.

Sayre then checked on the juvenile who was “hard to wake up and keep awake.” Randolph County EMS was called to check on the child, police said. Summerfield obtained written statements and spoke to the witnesses who had entered the vehicle and woke McElroy.

Summerfield was told McElroy and the child were in the car for at least 15 minutes with the windows rolled up while he was “passed out,” court documents state. Sayre entered the vehicle and noted in the report it was “extremely hot” even with the windows down.

Officers contacted the child’s mother, who said she was “unaware of the situation.” The child and mother were both transported to Davis Medical Center. Child Protective Services was contacted and met with the child and mother at the hospital, according to the complaint.

If convicted, McElroy could be sentenced to not less than one nor more than five years in the state penitentiary, fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $3,000, or both.

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