Single mother accused of abandoning her kids at roadside: ‘I was so tired of doing this by myself’
FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. – A single mom accused of abandoning her children at the side of a road near a school says she was tired and overwhelmed when it happened.
Police arrested Jennifer Westfall, 38, this week after the Oct. 2 incident in which they say she left her kids—9 years old and 19 months old—on the road near Reedy Creek Elementary in Cary, N.C. It’s about 18 miles from her home, according to WTVD.
The arrest warrant said she left the kids and sped off. But Westfall said she left them at the school’s campus and watched a woman help them. She said she thought it was a legal way to abandon her children and believed they were in good hands.
But the state’s safe surrender law says only infants a few days old can be legally surrendered to another adult.
Westfall faces two counts of misdemeanor child abuse.
“I feel terrible about what I did,” she told WTVD. “I’ve always had my kids’ back no matter what. I was just so tired. Absolutely tired.”
School administrators alerted Child Protective Services about the incident, leading to an investigation and Westfall’s arrest.
“I know what I did was wrong but I just, I was so tired of doing this by myself,” Westfall said. “I have the strength to do what I need to do but I don’t have the skills to make the income that I need to take care of my family, and nobody will hire me.”
Westfall is due in court next month. The children are currently in foster care.