TRAVERSE CITY — A Manistee woman faces child abuse and theft charges after she left her two children alone in a car while she entered a JCPenney store to steal more than $500 of merchandise, authorities said.
Amy Jean Gauthier, 29, was arraigned Thursday in 86th District Court on counts of leaving children unattended in a vehicle and second-degree retail fraud. Grand Traverse County sheriff’s deputies arrested her July 27 after Grand Traverse Mall security saw her children, ages 2 and 5, left alone in a parked car for about 30 minutes.
Police reports state Gauthier approached the vehicle with a JCPenney bag used for shopping inside the store. Investigation showed she did not purchase any of the items valued at about $550.
Gauthier also has a pending retail fraud charge in Manistee County.
A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Aug. 13 at 9 a.m.
Bodies of 2 brothers found in family pond
LAKE TOWNSHIP — Two brothers, ages 7 and 9, apparently drowned accidentally in a recently dug pond on their family farm in west Michigan, authorities said Friday.
The boys were found Thursday evening in the spring-fed pond beside a house in Lake Township, Lake County.
Officials identified the boys as Leander Troyer and his older brother, Jethro.
Authorities are considering the deaths accidental drownings and said they’re investigating.
The water in the pond, which is 7 to 8 feet deep, was measured at 49 degrees Thursday.
3-year-old suffocates himself with plastic bag
HASTINGS — Officials say a 3-year-old west Michigan boy accidentally suffocated himself with a plastic bag.
According to Michigan State Police, Joel Newton went to bed Monday with his 5-year-old brother. The two were playing when Joel placed a plastic bag over his head.
MLive.com reports Joel couldn’t remove the bag, and his brother alerted their father, who performed CPR and called 911.
The Hastings boy died on Tuesday at a hospital.