DENVER (CBS4) – A Thornton mother who left her children alone in a car for several hours has received permission to go home to her family.
Sarah Hatfield, 25, left her children in her parked car at a Thornton gas station Saturday morning. Ten hours later — and 13 miles away — Hatfield says she found herself wandering confused at East Colfax Avenue and Colorado Boulevard, where she was arrested.
Hatfield told CBS4 she had a medical condition and doesn’t remember leaving her 2- and 4-year-old sons.
“It was scary. Everything was scary at first. I didn’t know what was going on,” Hatfield said. “I remember going to the gas station, and I pulled into the gas station and waited in line to get gas, and that was it. That was the last thing I remember that day.”
Hatfield said doctors suspect she had an episode of amnesia tied to her migraine headaches. Doctors at Denver Health Medical Center, where she was examined, say it is indeed a real condition that can cause unusual behavior and memory loss. Hatfield said it’s the only thing that could explain why she left her children, her keys, her wallet and her cellphone in the car and disappeared.
Hatfield and her husband Matt met with detectives and a social worker on Wednesday and received the news in the evening that she could return home to her children. Detectives will forward on her medical records to the district attorney, who will then decide if the case warrants any criminal charges.
“She doesn’t have a criminal history,” Matt Hatfield said. “She’s a loving mother.”
Doctors say there’s no guarantee that whatever happened won’t happen again, but if it does Matt told CBS4 they’ll figure something out.
“We kind of need to devise a long term plan at this point to ensure that everything’s safe for the boys,” he said.
“The research says it’s a one-time thing for most people. It says it’s like a 6 percent chance of it happening again,” Sarah Hatfield said.
Hatfield talked with her 4-year-old son by phone Wednesday before she returned home and he had a message for her.
“I just let him know I loved them and that I missed them. Jamie, all he would say is that I lost him. It’s, ‘Mommy, you lost me,’ that’s all he would say,” she said.