Police have arrested the mother of a Wisconsin teenager who was found dead in a pond and accused her of going on a huffing binge, WTMJ-TV reports.
Prosecutors on Thursday charged Pauline Sanders, 39, with five felony counts of bail jumping and a misdemeanor count of intentionally abusing a hazardous substance.
According to authorities, Sanders’ children saw her inhaling from aerosol cans on Monday and repeatedly tried to get her to stop by taking the cans away from her. One of the kids even took video of her while she was huffing.
But Sanders – who has a history of substance abuse – continued to produce more cans.
Upset by Sanders’ huffing, her 15-year-old son, Austin Sanders, failed to show up for school Tuesday and reportedly said he was going fishing.
Emergency crews were later called to the Sanders’ home Wednesday morning for a report of a drowning. Police and rescuers found Austin in a pond near the home, where he was pronounced dead.
There were “multiple bottles of the air duster compressed cans” near Austin’s body, and the father told police that a can was in Austin’s hand when his body was found, court records state.
Sanders is in the Racine County jail on a $50,000 cash bond and is under court order not to contact her children and husband. Additionally, she cannot possess alcohol or any controlled substances.
Racine County Court Commissioner John Bjelajac will allow her to attend her son’s funeral, however.
“It’s tragedy to the Nth degree,” Bjelajac said. “I’m going to leave it to the Racine County Jail policy and to defense counsel to figure out her possible attendance at the funeral of her son. I’m not going to make that an official part of the court order, I’m just saying that if she is allowed to attend the funeral my no-contact provision shall not apply during that time period.”
Sanders has had numerous run-ins with police that involve substance abuse.
In June, she allegedly screamed profanities at her children and hit one of them after getting drunk. She was subsequently charged with intentionally causing harm, child abuse and disorderly conduct.
Back in 2014, Sanders allegedly got drunk and became angry after one of her kids found a bottle of vodka she was keeping in an oven. She also picked up a child from school while drunk and grabbed another kid by the arm.
The following year, Sanders was convicted of battery and drunk driving with a minor in the vehicle.
She was subsequently sentenced to 10 days in jail and placed on two years of probation that required she stay sober and seek counseling.
Sanders’ next court date is scheduled for later this month.
[Featured Image: Racine County Sheriff’s Office]