A MUM who left her two children sitting in a car at a service station faces charged after police found an uncapped syringe in the vehicle.
Abandoned late at night and with no way to get home, the Barrett sisters, 10, and, 8, were left alone in the family four-wheel-drive where an open syringe used for drugs was left within reach, police revealed yesterday.
The latest development in the story of the 48-hour disappearance of Sunshine Coast mother Vickie Barrett last week has resulted in the 37-year-old woman being charged after a large scale and public police hunt.
Police said that Ms Barrett had been charged with one count of leaving a child under the age of 12 unattended and failure to dispose of a syringe.
Ms Barrett sparked a massive missing-person search after she left her daughters unattended in a car at the 7-Eleven service station on Nambour Connection Rd at Nambour on Wednesday after a family event.
Ms Barrett was last seen walking north towards Yandina about 11pm.
The girls entered the service station about 30 minutes later and used the mobile phone Ms Barrett left in the car to call their father, who was working in Central Queensland.
The shop attendant then alerted police and the children stayed with their father’s parents that night.
Police will allege the syringe that Ms Barrett failed to dispose of was left uncapped and within reach of her two daughters.
The syringe was not used for medical purposes, according to police.
Ms Barrett returned home on Friday but the reasons for her disappearance have not been revealed. The girls remain in the care of their grandparents and remain the primary concern of child protection specialist police, who continue to try to determine the cause of events.
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