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Deputies: Woman found passed out in stolen car with baby in lap

SJC Sheriff's Office: Heroin, syringes, used diapers, rotten food in car

NOCATEE, Fla. – A woman was found passed out in a car with a baby in her lap Tuesday at a Nocatee gas station, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies found Amanda Ray, 29, of Jacksonville, passed out in a car with a baby in her lap. When deputies ran the license plate on the car she was in, they discovered that the car was reported stolen out of Kentucky.

Deputies said they searched the car and found heroin and numerous used, unused and uncapped syringes, as well as other drug paraphernalia.

The arrest report said "one of the syringes was puncturing a blue pacifier."

Deputies said the car was riddled with used diapers, trash, rotten food and spoiled milk.

Ray is charged with grand theft auto, child neglect, possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia.

Gil Smith, News4Jax crime and safety analyst, said the presence of an infant increased the severity of her list of charges. 

"They're going to look very closely at them because they're starting with the soiled diapers in the car and spoiled milk, which is a clear sign of child neglect. And then when you add that the child was around syringes and heroin and drug paraphernalia, they're going to look very closely at that because that is child endangerment," Smith said. 

Investigators will now try to trace Ray's steps leading up to her arrest, Smith said. 

"They'll look at it from the beginning, even probably prior to the auto theft, to see if there were crimes committed prior to that," Smith said. "Did she commit some kind of robbery and steal the car after that? Did she commit some kind of robbery, or burglary, then steal the car after that? They'll take all that into consideration.

Ray was booked into the St. Johns County Jail on an $11,000 bond and the Department of Children and Families was notified.

When News4Jax stopped by the woman's listed address at an apartment in Mandarin Wednesday, no one answered. 

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Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.