James Armour kinda, sorta thought his girlfriend might be dead when he left his 18-month-old son in her care. But he was late for work and didn't have time to make sure.
Armour rose as he usually did for work at Woodman's, a food market in Madison, Wis., when he noticed his girlfriend was not moving. She'd taken pain pills the night before for her bad back and snored through the night. But as day broke, Gaziano was eerily still.[jump]
Despite all this, Armour kissed his family goodbye -- noting that Gaziano was cool to the touch -- and left the hotel room where the family was living to go to work.
A few hours later, Armour called the front desk and asked the clerk to check on his girlfriend. The clerk immediately realized that Gaziano was dead and called the Madison police. The little boy had been left with the dead body for about four hours.
"So she's really dead?" Armour asked when the police called him. "I bet she was dead before I left this morning."
Armour explained that while it was "bothering" him that Gaziano was so unresponsive, he was one point away from being fired on Woodman's demerit system.
"I didn't want to go to work, I had no choice," he said. "The points would have killed me."
Interesting choice of words.
Though he was unharmed, the toddler was dressed only in a diaper, his hair was crunchy to the touch and he was covered in dirt.
Armour was charged with child neglect this week and faces up to nine months in prison.