Three children and a dog were discovered in the trunk of a car pulled over for speeding on Interstate 405 in Bothell Sunday morning.
A 28-year-old woman driving the car and her 27-year-old fiancé were arrested after what started as a routine traffic stop, according to Washington State Patrol.
The Woodinville woman continued driving for half a mile before she pulled over in response to the troopers lights, the State Patrol said. She was driving a black 2007 Nissan Sentra 77 mph in a 60 mph zone, according to WSP spokesman Keith Leary.
About a half-hour into the stop, which was allegedly drawn out because of a strong odor of marijuana and the presence of drug paraphernalia in the vehicle, the trooper heard thumping from the trunk, according to the State Patrol.
Inside were the driver’s three children: two boys, 5 and 7, a girl, 8, along with a dog. The back seat of the car held a guitar, a snowboard and some bags.
“What the heck were they thinking?” Leary said he thought when told about the incident. “You just don’t do that.”
Leary said the children were physically unharmed, but troopers fed them because the children said they hadn’t eaten anything since the day before. The children and the dog were taken into protective custody.
Asked about the marijuana odor, WSP said the woman admitted “I took a few hits earlier.” A search of the vehicle also turned up methamphetamine, heroin and various types of prescription pills, the State Patrol said.
“We are so thankful this car was not involved in a collision and that they did not suffer from the heat being in a black car in the full sunshine on a warm day,” Leary said.
Both the woman and her fiancé were booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of drug charges. The Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office will decide whether child-endangerment charges are warranted, Leary said.