3 kids out of hospital; mother charged with child abuse

2 children tell police woman gave them pills to sleep for very long time

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Three children found unconscious in a Northwest Jacksonville apartment Saturday afternoon are out of the hospital Monday and their mother charged is aggravated child abuse as police continue to investigate the case.

A Department of Children and Families employee had gone to Liara McGlothan's Washington Heights apartment on Moncrief Road about 5:30 p.m. Saturday after the woman told family members her 3-, 7- and 11-year-old children were dead.

All four were hospitalized for observation Saturday night, but released on Sunday. The children were taken into DCF custody, and McGlothan, 30, was booked into the Duval County jail and placed under the Baker Act, which allows for mental health evaluation and treatment.

Police said one of the children claimed to be given as many as 10 red "vitamins" by McGlothan. Another child told police of being given five white pills that tasted nasty and was told they would sleep for a long time.

The police haven't said what the pills were, but DCF spokesman John Harrell said they were looking into whether McGlothan was trying to kill her children. A police report says law enforcement received complaints that McGlothan may have been making threats to other family members.

Harrell said the DCF investigator who went to the home heard strange noises coming from inside the apartment.

"Well, we heard some noises from children inside the home, perhaps children saying something inside the home," Harrell said. "The investigator wasn't completely sure what it was, but it was enough to raise suspicions."

DCF called the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office for help getting into the apartment. Once inside, police said they found McGlothan and her three kids unconscious on the floor.

"I think when they opened the door, she was like laying on the mattress, her and her children, and they wasn't responding," said Gwynn Adams, who lives in the apartment above the family. "When they brung 'em out, I think they were, they were kind of waking up, and they put them in the ambulance."

DCF received a complaint about McGlothan earlier in the month. Investigators had been to her home several times, but Harrell said that before Saturday, investigators couldn't find any evidence of neglect or abuse.

The father of the children lives out of state.

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