Talk about neglect. Phone lines at the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office were going off one evening as "dozens" of concerned drivers witnessed recklessness on the road.


26-year-old Fantasia Martinez was at the center of the calls. The woman was seen "running into traffic." Deputies quickly responded and went to check out the area Martinez was reportedly seen.


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Deputies found Martinez and suspected she was under the influence of alcohol and "possibly narcotics due to her erratic behavior." She was arrested and put in the back of the patrol car.


Martinez tried to explain that her vehicle had broken down and that "both her children were still in the vehicle.” Once Martinez was in the patrol car the deputy began to quickly search for her car, which was ultimately found nearby and wrecked.

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“The vehicle appeared to have crashed through multiple road barricades, the engine was still running, and an infant was in the backseat, coming to a rest at a tree." Unable to open the doors, a deputy had to break a window to safely remove the child.


While deputies had their attention on her wrecked car and the infant inside of it, Martinez managed to break loose and escaped out of the patrol unit. "The deputy had to divert his attention from checking the child’s condition and regain control of Martinez. Martinez continued to resist, but eventually, the deputies successfully regained control and re-secured her.”


Martinez had originally said both her children had been left in the vehicle however, there was only one child in the car along with a second empty car seat. Concerned because of the proximity to the interstate, deputies began to swiftly search for the second child.

Around 60 first responders searched for the missing child for 35 minutes until authorities got a tip. An address was provided where the second child may have been.


The address was the new address where Martinez had recently moved to. When Deputies arrived at the provided address they forced entry and found the second child alone in the home, but thankfully unharmed.

Both infants are now in CPS custody and Martinez was arrested and charged with two counts of abandoning or endangering a child, driving while intoxicated with a child passenger, escaping and resisting arrest/transport.


Harrison County Sheriff Brandon Fletcher said, “Thank you to the Deputies, DPS, ESDs, and Marshall Fire Department for their efforts in locating these children. It is heartbreaking to know that some children have to live in these conditions, but I am glad no lives were lost.”

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