An 18-year-old mom who was reported missing on Saturday and later found in the woods was arrested after her two-year-old son was found alone holding her suicide note.
Katie Renea Halbert, of Attalla, went missing from the Ivalee community sometime on Saturday, Jan. 11. The Etowah County Sheriff's Office said she was possibly in an "altered state of mind" and could be in danger of harming herself.
A family member found Halbert's two-year-old son wandering alone outside a home in the Ivalee area. The toddler was holding a suicide note written by Halbert, officials said. The relative called 9-1-1 after they were unable to immediately find Halbert.
The sheriff's office discovered Halbert unharmed in a wooded area nearby several hours later. She has been charged with third degree domestic violence/reckless endangerment.
Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin is calling on the state legislature to pass a law making that type of child abandonment Halbert is charged with a felony instead of a misdemeanor.
"There's got to be something, and we've got to address this problem. Again, several cases this year in Etowah County, where someone should've been charged with a felony, other than just a misdemeanor dealing with a child's safety," Entrekin said.
Halbert's child is being cared for by the Department of Human Resources, according to ECSO officials.
Halbert was booked into the Etowah County Detention Center on Saturday on a $1,000 property bond.
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