A Seffner woman faces felony child neglect charges after a witness spotted her two children, both under 5, wandering alone without pants or underwear, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
April Janine Lopez, 34, was found passed out in her home by deputies Wednesday afternoon and resisted efforts to rouse her, the sheriff's office said. She smelled of alcohol, deputies said, and marijuana was found in a pipe nearby.
The two children, a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy, were spotted at 4:26 p.m. walking near the 4600 block of Clewis Ave. in Seffner, about one block away from their home. According to the witness, the girl said they were walking to a nearby convenience story for candy.
The girl was able to point out her house to the witness, who took the two children home.
Deputies responded to the call at 4:29 p.m. They yelled at Lopez, flashed a light in her face and commanded her to get out of bed, but she refused.
Finally forced up, her eyes appeared glassy and heavy and she was unable to focus or stand straight during her interview, deputies said.
Eventually, she admitted to smoking marijuana a few days earlier and to drinking alcohol the day before, deputies said. She acknowledged falling asleep while her children were home with her, deputies said.
After obtaining a search warrant, deputies found a glass pipe next to her bed with marijuana inside, deputies said.
The sheriff's office would not say where the children were placed, but noted that efforts usually are made to find relatives first.
Lopez was arrested and faces two charges of felony child neglect and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
She was booked into Hillsborough County Jail and is being held on $5,000 bond.