A Kansas City, North, woman faces child endangerment charges for allegedly providing whiskey and rum to teens, including a 15-year-old girl who ended up at a hospital with life-threatening alcohol poisoning.
Melissa Denise Bardwell, 34, also is charged with furnishing alcohol to minors and buying a teen cigarettes.
Authorities said the poisoned Northland teen had a blood alcohol content of .225 following the May 25 incident.
Bardwell was arrested Tuesday. Clay County prosecutors requested that her bond be set at $50,000.
According to court records, police went to a residence in the 5800 block of North Oakley Avenue on a medical call. The 15-year-old was having difficulty breathing and was unresponsive. She was rushed to Children’s Mercy Hospital, where she was diagnosed with life-threatening alcohol poisoning. She was later transported to the University of Kansas Medical Center.
The victim’s mother told investigators that the teen had gone mudding with friends. Another mother summoned the victim’s mother to the friend’s house.
While there, one of the women observed an unknown vehicle stopped down the street, and she heard neighbors yelling. She went outside and saw the victim lying on the side of the road, unresponsive. Bardwell was driving the vehicle and gave the victim’s mother her contact information and said her name was “Missy Harmon.” Bardwell then drove away.
The victim’s mother, who is a registered nurse, said the teen’s breathing was extremely shallow.
One of the victim’s friends later told investigators that she and the victim had been at Bardwell’s residence.
Bardwell’s daughter reportedly had given her mother money to buy alcohol for them. Bardwell went to a CVS in the 4900 block of Northeast Vivion Road and brought a large bottle of apple-flavored Jim Beam bourbon whiskey and other alcohol. She returned home and gave the teens the liquor.
The victim became intoxicated, began throwing up and passed out.
An unknown male, believed to be Bardwell’s boyfriend, later carried the victim to Bardwell’s car. Bardwell then drove the girl home.
The victim later told investigators that in addition to the Jim Beam, Bardwell brought them a large bottle of Bacardi rum. The girl said she remembered drinking the whiskey, falling down and eventually passing out. When she woke, she was at the hospital with a breathing tube down her throat.
Surveillance video obtained from the CVS the evening of May 25 showed a white female with what appeared to be a teenage girl purchasing a fifth of alcohol. A store receipt confirmed that she purchased a bottle of Jim Beam.
The victim was treated for alcohol intoxication, acute respiratory failure with hypoxia and injuries to both her knees.
When questioned by police, Bardwell denied giving the teens alcohol and suggested they had gotten into her liquor cabinet.