Mother who abandoned kids charged in Florida

Published 1:46 pm Thursday, December 29, 2011

A mother accused of leaving five young children alone at a park in Bratt last week and then driving under the influence to Atmore with her infant in the vehicle is now behind bars in Florida and facing charges of abuse and cruelty towards a child.


Amber Rose Ryals, 25, was initially taken into custody by Atmore police officers Monday, Dec. 19 and charged with driving under the influence, theft of property and endangering the welfare of a child after employees at Burke’s Outlet reported the woman taking store medications and acting “incoherently.”

Ryals told APD officers she had no recollection of how she got to the store’s location. She also said she had dropped off five other children at a park but could not recall where.

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Meanwhile in Florida, Escambia County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Preston received a call from a concerned citizen who reported five young children left unsupervised at LCpl Travis Nelson Park in Bratt.

According to Sheriff’s Department reports a deputy made contact with the children, three of whom belonged to Ryals and two who were family members. Deputy Jeremy Jarman said one of the children told him Ryals had dropped them off at the park to play while she went shopping in Atmore. Authorities estimate the children had been alone for approximately three hours.

All five children were unharmed and later released into the custody of family member Shanna Muehe, the mother of two of the children involved.

Following an investigation in Florida Ryals was taken into custody Wednesday and charged with multiple counts of abuse and cruelty towards a child.

As of Thursday afternoon she remains behind bars at the Escambia County Jail in Pensacola on $27,500 bond.

The Florida Department of Human Resources as well as the Alabama Department of Human Resources is also investigating the case.