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Mom was high on cocaine when she led kids on deadly nighttime woods excursion: cops

A Georgia mother was high on cocaine and marijuana when she led her two young children into the woods on a freezing night, resulting in a 3-year-old’s death, authorities said.

Uriha Ridge, 35, has been charged with felony murder and four counts of cruelty to children stemming from her fateful excursion, which lasted nearly 12 hours as temperatures dipped into the 20s.

Ridge took her 3-year-old daughter, Alina Pascal, and her 7-year-old son into a wooded area near the Foxhall Resort in Douglasville, where the family had been staying, on the night of Jan. 16, according to a statement from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

The mom allegedly had been taken drugs both before and during the outing, and spent hours with her kids clad in light clothing wondering in the woods after getting lost.

“Uriha is believed to have entered the woods at Foxhall Resort with her children at around 12:00 am and did not call for help until the next morning at 11:51 am, despite having a cell phone with a properly charged battery,” officials said.

By the time the mom and children were found and rescued, they were soaking wet and freezing, having spent the entire night outside.

Ridge’s son was taken to a hospital and survived, but her daughter could not be saved and died from suspected “exposure to the elements,” the sheriff’s office said.

“She caused the death of Alina Pascal, a human being, a child, by taking the aforementioned child in the woods in the rain and freezing temperatures with minimal clothing for a period of over 11 hours, causing the child to become hypothermic and to die from exposure,” Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Lauren Wallace said during Ridge’s first court appearance Thursday, reported the station WJCL.

Ridge remained stone-faced as the prosecutor laid out the charges against her.

Investigators wrote that Ridge’s “consumption of illegal drugs is believed to be the root cause of why Uriha Ridge took her two small children into the woods, minimally clothed, in below-freezing temperatures, and in the rain for more than eleven hours.”

Ridge’s criminal history includes past allegations of child endangerment targeting her daughter, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.

In November 2023, she was arrested for allegedly slapping Alina and dropping her after getting drunk at a bar, according to a warrant.

Ridge was granted a $5,000 bond in that case and was allowed to keep custody of her children,

In November 2023, she was arrested for allegedly slapping Alina and dropping her after getting drunk at a bar, according to a warrant.

A day after Alina’s death, the district attorney asked a judge to revoke that bond.

Ridge is currently being held in the county jail without bond.


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