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January 21, 2022

Woman charged after children under 2 found locked in Tupelo hotel room

Therese Apel

Lauren Stewart

A woman in Tupelo is behind bars after police say they found her two young children locked in a room with drugs and drug paraphernalia.

According to Tupelo Police Department, around 3 p.m. last Friday, officers were called to Burger King on West Main for a disturbance. When they arrived, it turned out that Child Protective Services was on scene with Lauren Stewart, 32, who was refusing to cooperate with a child welfare investigation they were conducting.

According to TPD, the investigation led to the discovery of two of Stewart’s children who were locked unsupervised in a room at the Hilton Garden Inn. Both children were under 2 years old, according to authorities.

Also recovered in the room was evidence consistent of possession and use of methamphetamine, Tupelo police said. Stewart was held for investigation based on that evidence.

“Thanks to Child Protective Services and Lee County Judge Staci Bevill and her office for their assistance,” said Chief John Quaka. “A tragedy was narrowly avoided in this case. We are so thankful these kids were located and are safe.”

On Thursday Tupelo Municipal Court Judge Evans set Stewart’s bond at $40,000 for 2 counts felony child abuse and child endangerment. This case will be presented to the Lee County Grand Jury.

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