Police: Drunk mom abandoned kids near homeless camp

SANTA FE (KRQE) – Santa Fe Police said a mother was found passed out drunk, faced down in a field, and left her two young daughters to fend for themselves.

Officers who spoke with the mom afterward, said she showed no remorse. KRQE News 13 obtained the recording of what Sherilee Cheromiah, 28, told police Friday night.

Broken glass, liquor bottles, a dirty toilet seat cover: All of those things were found in an open field behind a Walmart in Santa Fe. It’s also where police said two little girls, ages 5 and 1, were found wandering alone late Friday night.

“The mom appeared to be unconscious, face down in a field,” explained Lieutenant Andrea Dobyns, of the Santa Fe Police Department. “She did appear to be intoxicated.”

Police said a stranger found the young girls in a field behind Walmart just after 10 p.m. and called police. Officers responded to find Cheromiah passed out.

“I’m the one who found you passed out, OK?” A Santa Fe Police officer told Cheromiah. “You were completely passed out unconscious, unresponsive.”

During the audio-recorded interview with officers, Cheromiah told police, “I love to drink, what about it? I love to drink.”

“Is it a problem for me to drink?” Cheromiah continued. “Yeah it is,” the officer responded. “How come?” Cheromiah said.

The officer explained the problem, and said her young daughters were near a busy road, surrounded by drug paraphernalia and a homeless camp. The officer also told her a man unknown to the little girls, took them to his nearby apartment before police were called.

“Yeah because I told them to go away,” Cheromiah told the officer.

“So you told your own five and two-year-old to walk away from you?” The officer asked.

“My oldest daughter, I told her if we’re in some place in a bad predicament, take off,” Cheromiah continued.

Police said the little girls were found shivering cold, but unharmed.

The girls’ mom didn’t seem worried.

“I don’t care,” Cheromiah told police. “I fully get that you don’t care,” the officer responded.

“Because I love my other kids,” Cheromiah continued.

“But you don’t love these ones apparently, right?” The officer responded. “Yeah I do love my kids,” said Cheromiah.

“We were just so lucky that nothing terrible happened to these children,” Lieutenant Dobyns explained.

The little girls told police they hadn’t eaten since the morning. Officers purchased food for the children, as they continued to conduct interviews.

Cheromiah told the officer she’s dealt with the state Children Youth and Families Department before. Her daughters were released to their grandmother, who had called police earlier that night, worried their mother was drunk.

According to police, Cheromiah got angry with her mother-in-law at Walmart when she was confronted about drinking. The girls’ grandmother said she tried to follow Cheromiah, but lost sight of them and called 911.

CYFD was called in this case, and Santa Fe Police said they’ll follow up with the family through their Crimes Against Children unit.

Cheromiah was charged with two counts of felony child abuse.

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