VA - Mom Arrested For Waiting To Report 7 Year Old Missing 12 Hours Overnight

Discussion in 'Crimes-Spotlight on Children' started by Filly, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. Filly

    Filly KICKING AND SHINING

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    Melissa Seay aged 26 of Spotsylvania must be really zen.

    Seay saw her DD last on Tuesday night at about 8:45PM. Lord only knows what she did after that.

    On Wednesday morning she decided to call police and let them know her 7 year old was missing. That was 8:00AM. As Seay stood outside her home speaking with police she left another small child all alone in a high chair for quite sometime. After a check police said the house was filthy.

    Praise God the little girl was safe and sound and a neighbor took her in and fed her and entertained her. Mom was arrested on child endangerment charges. The children were handed over to CPS.



    http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2010/112010/11122010/587850
     
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  3. MorenoI

    MorenoI New Member

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    I was reading the comments and alot of people are defending her..doesn't make alot of sense. She has been arrested for d.u.i and then these people say she doesn't drink. I'm wondering if she just fooled them. I feel sorry for these children.
     
  4. Filly

    Filly KICKING AND SHINING

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  5. bad drummer

    bad drummer New Member

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    Hi,

    I wanted to come here to help explain some things regarding Melissa. I'm a single father of 3, and currently deployed in Kuwait (a moderator can check my IP and verify this).

    I've known Melissa for a long time, we are very close friends. My children and I have spent a considerable amount of time with her and her children. I love those children like they were my own. If anything, she is an extremely good mother.

    There was a question as to why a lot of people are defending her. I hope what I write will give a little insight as to why myself and many others have signed affidavits and helped her with her legal fees.

    Melissa works for a small doctor's office, as noted in the article. She does not smoke or use any narcotics. She barely drinks.

    I'll first talk about her DUI. She went to bed and the last thing she remembers is taking an Ambien (prescribed), setting the alarm, and turning over to go to sleep. She awoke in a jail cell in a panic, not knowing why she was there.

    The only foreign substance in her was the Ambien. No drugs, no alcohol.

    What has been pieced together was that her daughter had come into her room during the night after having a bad dream, and woke her up. For some reason she grabbed her keys, and put her daughter in the car and drove into town. She was pulled over and arrested after striking the curb a couple times. When the police stopped her she was barefoot, in her pajamas, and had no I.D.

    Again, she was tested and had no drugs or alcohol. She had the correct dose of Ambien in her system that was prescribed. This is not the only case of this happening. Here is a New York Times article on this side affect:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/08/business/08ambien.html?_r=1

    There is currently an ongoing class action lawsuit going on about this side effect.


    So what happened the second time?

    The article that was released was a standard police report. I have spoken to Mr. Epps several times on the phone with corrections and he has also interviewed Melissa. He is now following her case closely because of the incidents related to her arrest.

    She put her daughter to bed, and last checked on her before going to bed around 9pm. This is where the article states she last saw her daughter. This was right after daylight saving's time. Her daughter woke up an hour earlier, and assumed she was late for school. Melissa was still asleep because she had set her clock to DST.

    Her daughter, thinking that she was running late for school, got herself dressed, grabbed her bookbag and went next door to her neighbors to wait to catch the bus (the families are close friends and the children ride the bus together). The daughter had wanted to show off some money she had earned the day before. The neighbors of course were not awake yet and didn't answer the door, so the daughter went one house down. The neighbor there was awake and took her in. Now this part is still something strange that needs to be answered: The neighbor at that time should have taken the daughter back to her mother's home. Instead she fed her breakfast.

    About a half hour later Melissa awoke, and went into her daughter's room. She wasn't there and her clothes she was supposed to wear were still on the bed. She spent several minutes frantically searching the house before going next door. He daughter of course wasn't there. She began to panic, and at the advice of friends she called the police, scared that something had happened to her daughter.

    When the police arrived, The detective instructed her to allow a deputy to watch the younger child, and the deputy placed the child in a high chair while the detective interviewed her. At this time the neighbor in which the daughter was staying noticed the commotion and brought the daughter over.

    The daughter was gone for about 15-45 minutes.

    The police decided to arrest Melissa. She was released on bond and had custody of her daughter placed into the hands of family.

    The prosecution from the first DUI case decided to hold a bail revocation hearing when learning of this incident. During the hearing Melissa had a public defender who was essentially worthless. The judge himself was struggling to hold back laughter at the ineptitude of this lawyer. Her bail was not revoked, however she ended up losing custody of her young son to family until the trials are over.

    Melissa is the most kindhearted woman I know. She is a single mother and works 50-60 hours per week. She cares deeply for her patients, friends, employees, and most importantly her own children. She has spent her own free time to visit paitents who may have issues with insurance or getting coverage. She has given her employees rides to and from work, and although she has always struggled with money, has given those employees money to help with gas or rent. She never asks for anything in return. She does not take handouts, and does not ask for welfare or aid. She is an honest woman.

    I have entrusted her with my children before, and would do so in a heartbeat. She is an incredible mother. I have learned so much from her as a single father. If it came down to her watching my children for, say, the entirety of my deployment I would have that same level of confidence. What has happened to her is, to put lightly, unfortunate. None of what happened is deserved.

    How many times has your young child ran out of the house next door without asking first? I know I did it as a child, and my children have done it. Should all of us have been arrested?

    Melissa is a fantastic person. Many of her patients have contributed to her defense. I know I have, and approximately 80 or so people have either filed an affidavit of support or have offered themselves as character witnesses for her.

    Reading this forum there is a lot of evil brought against children in this world. It's horrible. Please, I ask everyone not to be so quick to judge. In some cases such as this one, a family is being torn apart just before Christmas and a mother is being dragged through hell.
     
  6. Salem

    Salem Former Member

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    Hello bad drummer and welcome to Websleuths. We ask all posters that wish to post from inside (or very close to) a case to contact our owner, Tricia. You may contact her here: wsverify@xmission.com

    Please include the following in your email:

    The case (Spotlight on Children - VA Mom arrested)
    Your Websleuths name
    (bad drummer)
    Your phone number and a good time to call
    Your real name.


    All information will be kept strictly confidential.

    We do this to protect our posters from those that would join and post here and pretend to know things they do not. It is a painless process and won't take long.

    And thank you for serving our Country. It must be very difficult to be away from your children for so long.

    Salem
     
  7. bad drummer

    bad drummer New Member

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    Thanks, I will email that information.

    edit: It's difficult, thankfully where I am I have the luxury of skype, the internet, and the USO (which is amazingly helpful for us).

    This Christmas will be very hard, I won't be around my kids for the first time and now this is going on back home and I might not even get to see these two or talk to them (I think of them as my own)

    edit 2: email sent
     
  8. Filly

    Filly KICKING AND SHINING

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    Bad Drummer, Thank you for your service. Please know you are greatly appreciated.

    Also thank you for bringing to light your friend's side of the story.

    Definately I will take heed as I am guilty of rushing to judgement. I hope that it works out in favor of your friends children.
     
  9. MomofBoys

    MomofBoys Future Bucs QB

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    I too am guilty of rushing to judgement, but I have two questions and a few comments:

    I can buy the Ambien story, because as someone who took an Ambien once, I know that drug can be something. That said, while sleep eating, driving, and all manner of mayhem has been reported as a side effect, side effects are incredibly rare in a situation where the person takes it in bed. The vast majority of incidents occur when someone takes an Ambien and then sits down to watch TV, or get on the internet, or put some dishes away. It's not like a Tylenol PM where you sit and wait to get drowsy. Ambien/Zolpidem is like putting a blackout shade on your brain. I'm not saying your scenario didn't occur, but this was more of a PSA regarding the safe use of Ambien. :) People who end up at drive-thrus and in jail cells generally aren't the turn-off-the-light-take-a-pill-and-go-to-sleep type. I fell asleep while talking to my husband and we got into an argument I don't recall. I apparently flew into a tizzy because he didn't hug enough that day. LOL!

    LE said the house was "filthy." I'm a mom. I have three young boys. My house isn't going to be on the cover of Southern Living, ever. It gets messy and cluttered and I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle against toys and all their little pieces. I generally get things liveable every night before I sleep. I know "filthy" means different things to different people, but usually when LE or DCF says filthy, they mean filthy. My husband worked with a DCF worker who said that for children to be considered at risk in their environment, the house has to be dirty in a way that's far worse than normal. Like rotten food accessible to the kids or heavy hoard or feces or severe mold. I'd be curious to know the context here.

    My biggest concern: what was the "other incident" with the same child? Even if we give the benefit of the doubt for the DST situation (three days later?) the fact that she's known to LE because of another situation really raises a red flag.

    Thanks for the context, bad drummer, and I don't want to pick on your friend. Parents aren't perfect. There are just a few points of concern not covered in your explanation that doesn't have me running for my mea culpa hat yet.
     
  10. bad drummer

    bad drummer New Member

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    By the research I've done, Ambien is more of a brain hypnotic, not really something that shuts it down.

    i have seen her sleepwalk one time before, and it did concern me. However it never came across that it could get to the level of sleep-driving until I did more research for it.

    I was already deployed when the second incident took place, however I do know that they were in the process of remodeling the formal dining room. Her house is definitely not immaculate, she's a single mother of 2 and it looks just as our homes probably look most of the time.

    The word "filthy" to me brings up things like you see on TV.. trash and junk all over the place and unhealthy living conditions. That is definitely not how her home is.

    I will say her home is many times cluttered, with toys and clothes around. I wasn't there that day but I do know she is a neat freak and other than occasionally leaving dishes out, there would not be that level of mess.

    The incident was with the same child.
     
  11. MomofBoys

    MomofBoys Future Bucs QB

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    I was kinda speaking colloquially re: the ambien. Just to draw comparison between Ambien and your other sleep aids, whether OTC or Lunestra or whatever. If you've taken Ambien, it does feel like your brain just...shuts down. It doesn't actually, of course. Before that feeling, though, it's like your eyes turn into a kaleidoscope every time you shut them. At least that was my experience. I do know a previous tendency to sleepwalk can be exacerbated by Ambien and I believe the drug is contraindicated forpeople with existing sleepwalking issues.

    My question was, what was the other incident? Or is the other incident the DUI? It seems like they were mentioned independently.

    I totally understand life with small children and the mess houses can become. I wish they hadn't used the word 'filthy' if referring to clutter, because that's a total misrepresentation and prejudicial if so. There was a DCF case here recently where there was dog feces strewn about the house and an used sanitary napkin on the dining room table. THAT is filthy by all standards. I have some dust behind the living room television and a toy car parking lot on the floor. That would be filthy by my grandmother's standards. :)

    I'll be honest--just by reading this case in a bubble I didn't really get the outrage until the comments about the filthy house and unnamed "previous incident." Two of my children often sleep 11 hours. They don't nap long during the day and are out like little lights. I put my two year-old to bed at 9pm and he often wakes up at 8 and talks to himself and reads his books until 8:30am. I usually check on them before I go to bed at midnight and my husband looks in on them at 6:30 when he gets up for work. I can see the mom oversleeping in this case. Just because the article says 8pm to 8:45am doesn't mean she wasn't checked on at 1am, for instance. I do think there needs to be better communication and a more rigid school morning routine to avoid a potentially dangerous situation, but that's a personal thing.
     
  12. bad drummer

    bad drummer New Member

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    The other incident was her just waking up, walking downstairs, and going back to sleep. It happened about a year ago.

    By all standards, she had a good routine set up for her daughter to go to school. This happened right after daylight saving's time, which set the clocks back by an hour. That would have caused the disruption in the routine.

    Her home has been cluttered before, but by that I mean toys and such on the floor. I have never seen it to a point where it was unsanitary, or anything resembling the conditions you alluded to. I did specifically ask her the condition of the house that morning and she said other than her own bedroom it was very clean. I do know the police went and searched all over the house (after her daughter returned).

    Right now all I can say is that this is a terrible case. She's without her children and is very upset over it. I can't even begin to explain how heartbreaking it is for her. She can't sleep at all. She barely eats, and seems completely lost without them. Hey baby boy has a cold and she is emotional over the fact that she can't be there to hold him. There was a Christmas dinner last weekend at her daughter's school, and due to a communication error with the family watching her, She only was able to see her daughter for 15 minutes or so. I'm here in the middle of nowhere listening to my best friend break down and cry daily because of this, and I can't be there to comfort her during it. She's drained all her finances and her bills are piling up even with our help to just to pay legal fees. She's struggling at work to keep the practice afloat when her mind is elsewhere.

    I can't even begin to describe the toll this has taken on her and the kids. She can't lay down without thinking she hears her son crying at night. I understand proven and horrible cases of abuse and neglect, but none of this warranted the extremes in which the state has gone, to separate these children and their mother right now is a shame.

    She doesn't deserve this, her children don't deserve this.
     
  13. Belinda

    Belinda Doer of Things

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    I have taken Ambien for years. I do not take it and immediately go to bed. It takes 1 -2 hours before I can go to sleep. I have fallen asleep at my desk if I don't time it right, but it no where near has an immediate effect. I have heard many stories of odd nocturnal behavior due to Ambien, so I find that totally believable. I fortunately haven't had any bad experiences, but I won't say I don't worry about it.
     
  14. Belinda

    Belinda Doer of Things

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    It seems to me that CPS either over-reacts or under-reacts. When are they going to get it right?
     
  15. Rayemonde

    Rayemonde New Member

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    Looks like Bad Drummer was right.

    June 2011:
    http://m.fredericksburg.com/local/c...350-f553-5587-9228-f1e6dcfc522b.html?mode=jqm
     
  16. Ibiz

    Ibiz Back to work again.

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    Nice to see the cops are on the ball over there.
     

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