Heartbroken cops have been overwhelmed with donated Christmas gifts after putting out the call to help nine children whose mother died of a suspected heroin overdose.
Jimeta Sanders, 31, died on Wednesday in Middletown, Ohio while her husband was at work, and cops responding at the scene found her nine children, ages one to 14, alone with the body.
The girls are 14, five, three and one. The boys are 13, 11, 10, six and two.
Police detectives were touched by the tragedy, and put out a call to the community on Facebook for donations to assist the family.
‘No matter how hard you think you are, when you deal with kids in these situations you never get used to it,’ Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw said.
‘Their father is a hard worker, he has tried to make ends meet but it’s a vicious cycle,’ the department said in the appeal to the community
Within hours, hundreds of donations of clothing, toys, bikes had poured into the police station, until cops finally had to halt the drive to take time to sort through the gifts.
The detectives bought a Christmas tree for the family and drove a van with food and clothing.
‘This is happening because of her,’ Jimeta’s husband Andre Sanders told Fox45.
‘She was that type of person that she could touch people, that’s why the universe is paying it forward to us.’
He said that she was in rehab for heroin addiction before she relapsed.
Meanwhile, police sought out and arrested two men who they say were using drugs with Jimeta when she died, and cruelly abandoned her children with the body.
Jim Boyer, 63 and Keith Boyer, 32, were arrested on Friday and charged with nine counts of child endangering, theft, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.
‘We found out there was two men there with her at the time, and after she was gone on the ground, they took money from her and told the kids they were going to bring back some pop, and never came back,’ Chief Muterspaw said.