Mother charged with failing to seek help for unconscious child - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mother charged with failing to seek help for unconscious daughter

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FAYETTE COUNTY (KWWL) -- A Fayette County woman is in jail Thursday, charged with child endangerment. Sheriff Marty Fisher said 39 year-old Terra Rupright's teenage daughter overdosed on prescription drugs Thursday morning.

Rupright's daughter is reportedly in critical condition at the University of Iowa Hospital. Investigators said they arrested Rupright after learning she refused to provide or call for medical help for more than an hour after her child lost consciousness.

One person did call for help, a neighbor who noticed something unusual and decided to act. KWWL obtained the 911 call that may have made the difference between life and death for Rupright's daughter.

"I came to check to see why she wasn't going to school today, and she's on the floor," the caller said.

"Is she breathing?" asks 911 dispatch.

"Yeah, she just won't wake up. My fear is she's gotten into some medication and overdosed," the caller said.

Fisher said, by following her instincts and checking on the teenager, this neighbor may very well have saved the young girl's life.

"She was very concerned, and she took appropriate action. Immediate action. And that probably will be, hopefully will be, what this little girl needs," said Fisher.

Rupright has a history of criminal charges -- including theft, assault, and several violations of Compulsory Education laws -- meaning, at least one of her five children was not going to school.

But the Sheriff notes, none of these compare to a charge of leaving her child on the floor, unconscious, and refusing to help.

"It's always difficult for all of the first responders involved... always when a child needs care and, basically, was denied that," he added.

Investigators are holding Rupright at the Fayette County Jail on a $25,000 cash bond. She could face up to ten years in prison.

Fisher did call Child Protective Services to take care of Rupright's other children.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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