FAIRMONT, W.Va. — A Fairmont woman is facing charges for leaving two children alone and taking drugs while caring for them.

On April 23, deputies with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department performed a wellbeing check at a home on Leonard Avenue in Fairmont, according to a criminal complaint.

Brenda Cottrell

When deputies arrived, they met with the person who called for the wellbeing check who told deputies that Brenda Cottrell, 40, of Fairmont, “had left two small children (ages 3 and 5) in the residence alone,” deputies said.

The caller told deputies that “the children were screaming and feared for their safety”; deputies later made contact with Cottrell who gave verbal permission to enter the residence, according to the complaint.

Upon entering the apartment, deputies saw “food smashed into the couch” and “what appeared to be feces smeared on the walls and parts of the floor,” as well as “cockroaches on the walls and ceiling,” deputies said.

After deputies saw “a small child in underwear run into the kitchen,” they spoke with Cottrell, who “did not make eye contact” and had “slurred speech along with being slow to respond to questioning,” according to the complaint.

When more law enforcement arrived on scene, they “located a red in color cut off straw on the kitchen table with white residue in it”; when CPS arrived, Cottrell admitted that “the substance in the straw was Ativan” and that she used it 3 hours prior to having contact with [deputies], deputies said.

Upon testing, the substance in the straw was actually identified as methamphetamine, according to the complaint.

Cottrell has been charged with child neglect. She is being held in North Central Regional Jail on $25,000.