Mom leaves kids?

Published 10:47 pm Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Walnut Hill woman will likely be facing charges in both Alabama and Florida after allegedly leaving five young children alone at a park in Bratt Monday afternoon.

Amber Rose Ryals, 25, of Pine Barren Road was charged with driving under the influence by Atmore Police Department after officers were called to the Burke’s Outlet on Lindberg Avenue by store employees who told them Ryals was drinking liquid medications and taking pills while in the store and acting “incoherently.”


According to an Atmore Police Department report, Ryals had a young child, appearing to be around 1 year of age, in the car with her at the time of the incident.

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Officers said they were able to determine Ryals had brought several items with her out of Florida that had been taken from a store without payment.  Ryals was charged with driving under the influence, theft of property and endangering the welfare of a child.

As authorities in Atmore worked to sort out the details of Ryals’ situation, a Northview High School student in Bratt called the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department to report that five young children between the ages of 3 and 6 seemed  to be alone at the LCpl Travis Nelson Park located near the school.

According to Sgt. Mike Ward Ryals has not yet been charged with a crime in Florida.

“There is an open case involving Ryals,” Ward said. “We are investigating her as far as child neglect.”

In Atmore Ryals told police she could not remember how she had gotten to her location and said could not remember the location of a park in Florida where she had left five other children. APD officers first searched Tom Byrne Park, located across the street from Escambia County High School, but were unable to locate the children.

APD contacted the Escambia County (Fla.) Sheriff’s  Department. Four of the six children involved in Monday’s incident belong to Ryals while the other two have been identified as possibly being nieces and nephews. None of the children sustained injuries and were later released into the custody of a relative.

Ryals was booked into the Atmore City Jail, later moved to the Escambia County Detention Center in Brewton and will be extradited to the Escambia County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Department. The Alabama Department of Human Resources has been notified and is currently investigating the incident.