A Wise County mother turned herself into police this week after her daughter drowned in a bathtub.
Police say Amanda Clark’s three kids were left alone in the tub while she had sex with a man in another room. Those close to her call it a tragic mistake and insist she’s a good mother.
Friends of the 26-year-old mother say her husband just left her and was emotionally spent. Investigators say she took that opportunity to have a man over when she should have been watching her kids.
Jodi Malott knew something was horribly wrong when she rushed to her neighbor’s house two Sundays ago in Alvord, North of Decatur, and saw Clark trying to save her 2-year-old daughter, Alexandria.
“I saw Amanda running out of the front door screaming,” Malott recalled. “She was working on the baby, and she was screaming and hollering.”
First responders arrived but could not revive the girl. The doctor declared the 2-year-old child dead at 6:22 p.m. Investigators say she drowned because of a very bad decision by the mother.
Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin says Clark has three young girls — ages 6, 3, and 2. Akin says she left them all in the bathtub to take a bath with some toys. Clark went into the bedroom, where a man was waiting.
“I would say she was inappropriately distracted,” Akin said. “It’s a sad testament to parenthood.”
According to the arrest affidavit, the man later told detectives “he arrived at Amanda’s residence for what he called a ‘booty call.’” He told police when he got there, he saw the kids playing in the living room. Clark took the kids while he went to the bedroom to wait.
The affidavit states when she came to the bedroom, “he and Amanda began to have sex”. Akin says a few minutes later, the 6-year-old girl came into the bedroom and told her mom that Alexandria wasn’t breathing.
Clark’s neighbors say despite the details, it doesn’t mean she’s a bad parent.
“It’s just a freak accident. That’s what I feel,” said Diane Blake. “She would have them out playing all the time, and she was just a good mom”
Clark turned herself into the Wise County Jail on Tuesday. She’s charged with endangering a child, a second-degree felony. Her family declined an interview.
The sheriff says CPS took custody of her other two kids. Neighbors say this is difficult for all of them.
“You look over there now, and you don’t see the other kids outside playing and riding their bike. It’s sad,” Blake said. “I’d have my grandkids over, and they’d be over playing with my grandkids. It’s just a sad deal”
Akin says the man claims he had no idea where the kids were. So at this point, he is not facing any charges.
The neighbors plan to hold a candlelight vigil for Alexandria on Friday.