What began Sunday night as police checking on the welfare of a car's occupants ended with three people in the Putnam County Jail.
Jerramy J. Bushong, 26, Indianapolis; Kenneth R. Manning, 25, Danville; and Brittney K. Thompson, 22, Greencastle, were all arrested on charges of possession of paraphernalia, possession of syringes and child neglect following an investigation by the Putnam County Sheriff's Department and Greencastle Police Department.
The neglect charge springs from the presence of Thompson's daughter in the back seat of the car, right next to the bag containing the illicit items.
The car came to officers' attention when reserve deputy Nate O'Hair noticed a vehicle westbound on Veterans Highway with its rear driver side door open.
Believing there to be a possible domestic incident in progress, O'Hair began following the sedan, although not pursuing it with emergency lights or sirens.
Deputy T.J. Smith and Greencastle Police Officer Ed Wilson were also dispatched toward O'Hair's location as the vehicles started southbound on Manhattan Road.
With O'Hair still following, the vehicle eventually turned west onto County Road 550 South, where it encountered high water just east of Houck Bridge.
The car's progress was stalled briefly in the high water, but it eventually continued westbound, where Wilson made the traffic stop just west of the historic covered bridge.
Leading the investigation upon his arrival, Smith requested and was denied consent to search the vehicle by both the driver Bushong and the owner Thompson.
"I would rather you not search it," Thompson said, "plus I have my daughter asleep in her car seat in the back seat."
Instead, O'Hair's K-9 searched the exterior of the vehicle, sitting down beside the driver's side rear door to indicate it smelled drugs.
The ensuing search of the vehicle revealed a black backpack in the center of the back seat. All three adult occupants denied ownership of the bag.
Searching inside the bag, officers found several cell phones, a laptop computer, a tablet computer, a large bottle of hydrocodone pills belonging to Bushong, a small set of scales, a silver spoon, a small box of cotton swabs, several small baggies and three individual syringes.
While Bushong appears to have legally obtained the hydro-codone with a prescription, the number of pills remaining -- 94 out of 180 -- was suspicious to the officers for a prescription filled just two days earlier on Friday, Jan. 11.
Additionally, the scales, spoon, baggies and syringes are all paraphernalia linked to illegal drug use.
With no one claiming the backpack that was sitting within arm's length of all three adults, all three were arrested on the drug and neglect charges.
Thompson was allowed to contact a friend to come pick up the child. All three suspects were transported then to the Putnam County Jail and booked in between 12:30 and 1:15 a.m. Monday.