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Woman arrested after newborn tests positive for cocaine

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Posted: Friday, August 14, 2009 8:33 pm

A Timmonsville woman was arrested Friday after cocaine was found in her newborn baby’s body, Florence County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Nunn said.

Melissa Lee Dale, 29, of 2330 Southern Aire Road, is charged with unlawful neglect of a child by a legal custodian, Florence County Detention Center booking reports show.

The warrant alleges the suspect placed her unborn child at unreasonable risk of harm affecting the child’s life, physical or mental health or safety by using illegal drugs while pregnant. The infant tested positive for cocaine at birth, Nunn said.

Under state law, the charge is felony punishable by a fine at the discretion of the court, by imprisonment for not more than 10 years or both, Nunn said.

Dale remains in custody at the jail in Effingham awaiting a bond hearing.

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