Police spoke with mother night before kids found near freeway

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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — Police in northern Idaho say they had contact with a Spokane Valley woman and her two young children the night before the boys were found abandoned near a construction site along Interstate 90.

Shannon Germanton is charged with two counts of felony injury to a child in Idaho because police say she left her 3- and 6-year-old sons by the side of the road near Post Falls, Idaho, on Tuesday morning. She was arrested at a Spokane Valley home that night.

Kootenai County Sheriff's Lt. Stu Miller said the 27-year-old Germanton told investigators that she didn't remember anything about Tuesday, and that her earliest memory was from Monday night, when she had contact with Post Falls police at a local Walmart.

Police Chief Scot Haug told the Coeur d'Alene Press that someone called police Monday evening to report that Germanton had been in the store's bathroom for about a half an hour with her children, a gas can, and a bunch of torn-up origami paper.

Haug said Germanton told the police who responded that she'd run out of gas and was expecting someone to pick them up. She was acting "a little bizarre, but it was nothing out of the ordinary," he said.

Investigators are trying to determine just where Germanton went during the next 24 hours, Miller said.

A construction supervisor found the boys sitting in the grass near a freeway construction site at 9:10 a.m. Tuesday. The children told police that their mom had run out of gas and went for help while it was dark and raining. No car was nearby, and investigators later learned that Germanton had been given a ride to a gas station between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. Police said she told the driver she had argued with her boyfriend and needed to get to a phone to call for a ride.

Germanton was arrested on an outstanding Washington traffic warrant, and is expected to be extradited to Idaho to face the felony injury to a child charges sometime in the next several months.

The boys have been placed in foster care. Neither of their fathers have parental rights to the children, Miller said.