An odd mother and daughter duo stopped at a Sheetz gas station in Pennsylvania, and they had a disturbing way of passing the time at the fuel pumps. Someone happened to see the two women and immediately did something about what they witnessed, and one bad scene led to an even worse reality when the car doors were opened.
Courtney Jording, 23, and her mother Karen Gillespie, 43, pulled into the Greensburg gas station just after 11:00 a.m. on a Wednesday morning. After parking at the fuel pumps, Jording shoved a needle full of heroin into the arm of her mother, who was sitting in the driver’s seat. Needless to say, this was not your typical mother-daughter outing.
Another woman at the pumps saw the criminal behavior and was even more taken aback when she noticed that there appeared to be a baby in the back seat of the vehicle. As chance would have it, the witness was also a Children and Youth Services worker, and she immediately called the police to the scene. But, things were about to take a turn for the worst when officers got a closer look inside of the car.
Sitting in a child seat in the back of the car, police found a dirty little girl in a urine-soaked diaper. The six-month-old girl belonged to Jording. Her car seat was merely placed on the back seat, not secured with even a single strap. Sadly, the child’s safety in a moving vehicle was the least of these women’s concern as they were injecting each other with heroin just inches from the innocent baby.
Luckily, they didn’t get too far this time. “We’re thankful to the person that called. We’re thankful that we got there quick and were able to stop them quick before they got back on the road and hurt somebody or hurt the baby or anybody else,” Police Capt. Chad Zucco said. “It shows people what addiction will do. Not just the fact that they were in a busy parking lot, but having a child in the back seat. Obviously, they had disregard for the child.”
Officers didn’t see any clean clothing or diapers for the baby in the car, but they did find a massive treasure trove of narcotics, including a staggering 41 stamp bags of heroin and 16 empty stamp bags of heroin. Next to the drugs was everything an addict would need to use them, such as four syringes and two spoons, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Courtney Jording and Karen Gillespie were taken into custody on charges of criminal conspiracy, endangering the welfare of children, criminal use of a communication facility, possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Gillespie was hit with the additional charge of possession with intent to manufacture or deliver.
The baby was taken into custody and placed with her paternal grandparents, who hopefully have more sense about them than her maternal grandmother. This child potentially faces a future of being bounced around between the homes of whoever can care for her at the moment, along with the looming threat of a mom who will fight to get custody when she’s not incarcerated.
Jording doesn’t want to be a good parent, as evidenced by her drug use, but if she’s like most people in her position, she will fight for her parental rights at the cost of her child’s well-being. Meanwhile, child protective services will be forced to give the child back. It’s a sick cycle of abuse, catering to those who should permanently lose all parental rights after putting their child in harm’s way. Our children deserve better than this.