CORAOPOLIS (KDKA) — Fourth Avenue in Coraopolis is a heavily traveled state road. Cars, 18-wheelers and tanker trucks go by at a steady pace. It’s not a place for children to be unsupervised.
But on Monday night, around 8 p.m., police say they responded to a call about two kids alone there. Authorities say their mother was nearby, inside Cory Village Café having drinks.
An officer went into the bar and found the woman matching the description they were given. She is identified as 38-year-old Jennifer Taylor.
Police say when Taylor came out of the bar she was visibly under the influence, smelling of alcohol and unsteady on her feet.
Taylor told police she was watching the 5-year-old girl for someone else, and the 7-year-old boy was her own son.
She also told investigators that she left the children with her 17-year-old son and that she went in the bar to buy Mike’s Hard Lemonade to go. Police say she admitted to having one drink in the bar.
Eyewitnesses say they saw the children sitting in the parking lot across the street for at least 20 minutes.
Taylor faces several charges of endangering the welfare of children. She has faced those same charges in the past.
But she has also experienced tremendous tragedy. Last year, she lost two sons in a house fire in Pittsburgh’s Marshall-Shadeland neighborhood.
Taylor jumped out of a second-floor window with her then 6-year-old son. Another son also escaped.