A West Plains woman has been charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, creating a substantial risk, after she was allegedly found asleep in a vehicle with her infant daughter in sub-freezing temperatures.

The incident reportedly happened in the overnight hours of Jan. 21, when temperatures reportedly hovered around 17 degrees.

West Plains Police Officer Josh Wichowski reported he responded to a location on Burke Avenue after a caller said a person was inside a vehicle that was not running. When the officer arrived he noted it appeared the woman, identified as Jessica Kenslow, was highly intoxicated and it took a “substantial period of time” to wake her.

Kenslow and a child, who was about a year old, were removed from the vehicle, and Kenslow reportedly told the officer they had been in the vehicle for four to eight hours, with the car not running. Wichowski further reported he held the child wrapped in a blanket, and the baby felt cold to the touch.

The child’s internal body temperature was only 90.6 degrees when it was measured at the hospital about an hour after he responded to the call, Wichowski said.     

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