By Jacob Mathias
A Stevens Point woman faces child neglect charges after police found her unconscious with her children present while they performed a drug search.
Kristin Peper, 25, is charged with one count of child neglect, a misdemeanor for which she could see up to a $10,000 fine, or nine months imprisonment or both if convicted. She is also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia which carries a maximum sentence of up to a $1,000 fine, or 90 days imprisonment or both.
Peper made her initial appearance in Po. County Circuit Court on Aug. 20 where she pleaded not guilty to her charges.
According to the criminal complaint, on July 13 Stevens Point police were investigating a different case and searching for the male suspect of several vehicle break-ins. Detectives knocked on the door of an apartment on the 2600 block of Indiana Ave., where they believed the suspect lived. There was no answer.
After a neighbor told police a woman, later identified as Peper, along with her two children were present in the unit.
Detectives found their robbery suspect in another apartment, who told police he had drug needles in the unit lived in by Peper.
The detectives then forced themselves into Peper’s residence, where they found her unconscious on a couch. The defendant’s three and six-year-old children were also found in the apartment. The older child told officers he’d heard them knocking but was unable to wake his mother to answer the door.
Peper’s apartment was searched. Police report finding a one-hitter pipe, several syringes, small straws and a folded playing card with white residue on it. Residue on the pipe later tested positive for THC.
Later, on July 27, the older child was interviewed at the child advocacy center where he said he’d seen his mother inject herself with a needle which she said was medicine. She also reportedly told the child not to tell anyone.
The child also revealed that Peper locked the him and his sibling in their rooms while she slept all day. He said they had to pee in cups and later dump the urine into the toilet.
Peper returns to court on Sept. 26 at 10 AM for a pre-trial conference. She is currently free on a $350 signature bond.