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Police: Mom had booze & drugs in car with 18-month-old baby

Published On: Mar 20 2013 10:29:26 AM CDT   Updated On: Mar 20 2013 10:31:03 PM CDT

A local mother brought her 18-month-old daughter along for a car ride that included cocaine, booze and stealing, according to New Bern Police.

Investigators say they charged Jo Ellen Forehand, 23, with misdemeanor child abuse for putting the child in such a situation.  Police found Forehand this past weekend after she stole nine pair of jeans from the Belk inside the Twin Rivers Mall in New Bern, police said. There were other people with Forehand; it's unknown who was driving, police said. Police found two grams of cocaine and alcohol in the car Forehand was using, investigators said.

Forehand has a Colerain address; the average drive from Bertie County to New Bern takes nearly two hours.  Forehand remained in jail as of Wednesday night, and so was unavailable to comment.

The child was not hurt, and left the scene with the suspect's boyfriend, police said.