Missing boy’s mother charged with child neglect
ELKINS — A Randolph County woman is facing a felony charge after her 4-year-old son was reported missing Wednesday.
Amanda Pingley, 24, was charged with child neglect causing serious risk of injury. She is currently being held in the Tygarts Valley Regional Jail on a $35,000 cash-only bond, set by Randolph County Magistrate Ben Shepler.
According to the criminal complaint, the Elkins Police Department and other agencies were called to Pingley’s house at approximately 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Once on the scene, EPD Patrolman K.A. Shiflett was told by Pingley that her son had been missing for approximately 15 minutes, the complaint states. She said the boy was last seen wearing a black Mickey Mouse shirt, and that he weighed approximately 11 pounds. She also told police the boy would be with a white dog with a brown spot.
Deputy T. Knotts from the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office then arrived with the K-9 officer Hacker and the two attempted to track the child, according to the police report. Meanwhile other officers were speaking with Pingley. When she was asked the boy’s date of birth, she said she did not know the date. She also told police that she had last seen him on the side of their residence.
Police said Pingley then became excited and stated that she needed to find her son, and began running down the alley next to her residence, the report states. Officers advised other responding units to pick up Pingley if they saw her and to bring her back to the scene.
Corporal C.G. Boatwright of the Elkins Police Department then located Pingley and returned her to the residence, according to court documents. While speaking with Pingley, officers asked if the child was inside the apartment, and Pingley, along with Boatwright and Knotts, entered the residence.
Boatwright then observed a bag of a green vegetative substance believed to be marijuana on the floor of the residence, along with two glass smoking devices on the couch containing a burnt vegetative substance believed to be marijuana, court documents state.
Pingley allegedly told Boatwright that she wasn’t going to talk to him and incriminate herself, according to the criminal complaint. She was then placed in the rear of a patrol vehicle to ensure that she did not leave the scene.
While in the patrol unit, Pingley seemed to nod off on several occasions, appearing to be asleep or unconscious, the complaint states. Officers had Randolph County EMS respond and Pingley was transported to Davis Medical Center for evaluation.
Officers were then informed by a caller that a young child had been seen next to a body of water off Ferguson Road. Officers were then advised by Randolph County Humane Officer Charlie Ramsey that he had carried the child across the water to safety, according to the complaint.
Boatwright and Shiflett arrived at the scene on Ferguson Road and observed the child in just a diaper with no shoes, the complaint states. The boy was then transported to DMC for an evaluation.
The criminal complaint also states there was a previous incident in March where the boy had gone missing from his residence. He was eventually found four blocks from his home with his dog, which appeared to have been struck by a car.
If convicted of the charge of child neglect causing serious risk of injury, Pingley could be sentenced to not less than one nor more than five years in jail.