Casey Colbertson is the store manager of the Kangaroo Express on Belle Terre Parkway. He’d just been told by phone by another Kangaroo manager to be on the look-out for a woman driving a silver Pontiac minivan. The woman had allegedly used the other local Kangaroo’s bathroom to shoot up drugs, leaving a syringe and blood in the sink and on the counter there, according to the other manager.
A woman fitting the one the manager had described showed up at Colbertson’s Kangaroo, with the silver Pontiac, late Wednesday morning. She would later be identified as Michelle Marie Smith, 32, of Pinehill Lane in Palm Coast. She got out of the van and immediately went to the store’s bathroom. She was there a long time.
There were several other passengers in the car, including Smith’s four children: an 8-year-old girl, a 6-year-old boy, and twins–a boy and a girl–who will would be celebrating their third birthday tomorrow, Aug. 5.
Also in the van was Nina Holley, 27, of South Anderson Drive in Bunnell (a few doors down on the same street that had been the scene of disturbing events late last month.) Colbertson called the cops. Several showed up and began speaking with Smith. When one of them told her why they had responded to the scene, “she became defensive and denied having used or attempted to use any narcotics,” that deputy’s report related. “However, after Michelle was advised of what the store manager had located in the bathroom at Kangaroo (1290 Belle Terre Parkway) and after pointing out several ‘track marks’ on both of her arms, she made several spontaneous utterances,” saying she’d been trying to get help for her drug addiction.
Smith had rapid eye movements, she was nervous, and she was shaking, according to the deputy. She appeared to have track marks on the inside of both elbows, her wrists and her arms, the deputy observed, and she had ligature marks above the elbows, suggesting tourniquets used to expose veins for injection.
By then Holley had walked away from the scene. A deputy approached her. The deputy had been told by another deputy that Holley had several hypodermic needles and drug paraphernalia. When the deputy checked her purse, which Holley willingly provided. The deputy found four syringes, five spoons, a cellophane wrapper and a prescription tablet. Powdery substance in the spoons was later determined to be consistent with cocaine. “None of that in there is mine, it’s Michelle’s,” Holley told the deputy. “I was just trying to help her out.”
Holley was placed under arrest for drug possession. She cried, pleading not to be taken to jail. She’d been in jail just last month for driving on a revoked license. She’d also been jailed in January on a drug paraphernalia charge (several other charges were dismissed). She was held on $1,000 bond for the cocaine possession, but no bond was set for the drug paraphernalia possession charge or the charge for possession of a prescription drug without a prescription.
Smith, too, was placed under arrest and charged with four counts of child abuse. Three counts carried a $1,000 bond each. The fourth carries no bond. Her husband was contacted, arrived at the scene and claimed the children and the van. The women were taken to the Flagler County jail.
“This is a sad situation. These children have already been exposed to situations that no one should have to experience,” Flagler County Sheriff Don Fleming was quoted as saying in a sheriff’s release. “This woman obviously needs help for her addiction.”