Opioid Epidemic: Mother, Father Found in Car Unconscious, Their Baby in Back Seat

October 25, 2017 Updated: October 5, 2018

A Florida couple was arrested after they were found unconscious in a car in the middle of the night with their infant daughter in the back seat. The couple was likely high on opioids, while the baby was sweaty, and sleeping in a soiled diaper, based on the police account.

Police found Sean Gannon and Kimberly McCaffrey at about 3:15 a.m. in the Circle K parking lot in DeLand, Florida, some 30 miles north of Orlando on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

“The windows on the vehicle were fogged up, indicating the vehicle had been sitting for an extended amount of time,” stated the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office in a Facebook post.

The child, about eight months old, was sleeping in a baby seat, sweating profusely, a deputy noticed.

The deputy woke up the couple. “What are we doing in the parking lot passed out, with the door open, and a baby in the back seat?” the officer asked.

“I apologize,” said Gannon, 33.

While they were talking, the baby started to cry.

“It became apparent the infant had not had her diaper changed in some time as the diaper was saturated with fluids and leaking from the diaper edges around the legs,” police said. “The diaper had been leaking for an extended period which was evident by the infant car seat also being saturated with fluids from the baby’s diaper.”

The baby looked like it hadn’t been bathed in some time. It also looked hungry. “The baby cried and reached for an empty bottle when she saw it,” the police stated.

McCaffrey, 34, “appeared confused and could not identify where she was located,” police said. “She had difficulty spelling her name due to her level of impairment.”

The deputies searched the couple and found a plastic baggie with white residue on McCaffrey and a used syringe on Gannon. A narcotics test kit found opiates on both items.

McCaffrey was arrested for child neglect and charged with possession of opiates.

The deputy noticed the car keys were still in the ignition and arrested Gannon for driving with suspended license. He was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Both were taken to a Volusia County jail.

Gannon should be a familiar face to the local law enforcement, having been booked into the Volusia County jail 13 times since 2009, including in March and June this year.

McCaffrey has had some run-ins with the law too, being booked four times since 2008. This time it was just one day after her birthday.

The baby was placed into the care of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

“The opioid epidemic touches innocent lives every day,” the police stated.

Last year, over 64,000 people died of drug overdose, now the leading cause of death for those under 50. Opioids were involved in most of the deaths, especially the powerful synthetic opioids like Fentanil. Preliminary data shows the epidemic has somewhat plateaued this year.

President Donald Trump is set to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency, which will free up funding and give agencies authority to shift resources to combat the crisis.

Follow Petr on Twitter: @petrsvab