SOUTH BEND — Formal charges were filed Thursday against a South Bend mother who allegedly took her infant daughter with her to buy heroin in Elkhart.
According to a news release from the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office, Heather Gipperich, 31, was charged on Thursday, Feb. 20, with felony neglect of a defendant and taking a child to a nuisance, which is a misdemeanor.
The second charge alleges that Gipperich "knowingly took a person less than eighteen years of age, to wit, B.G., who is less than one (1) year of age, into a building, structure, vehicle, or other place being used by any person to unlawfully possess drugs or controlled substances."
According to a probable cause affidavit filed in St. Joseph Superior Court, the child, 9-month-old Bethany Ann Gipperich, was reported missing by Heather Gipperich's mother on Saturday, Feb. 15.
When Heather Gipperich returned to her mother's home Sunday afternoon, South Bend police say that she seemed to be "out of it" and was experiencing serious personal issues.
Heather Gipperich later told police she had taken the child with her to a house in Elkhart, where she purchased herion, got high and left the child at the house in the care of a woman identified only as "Amanda" in court documents.
Elkhart police located the child at the house and she was taken into the custody of the Indiana Department of Child Services.
Heather Gipperich was arrested on Sunday and remains incarcerated at the St. Joseph County Jail. She is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday.