Britni N. Wihebrink
Daleville Police Department
September 10, 2018 05:47 PM

An Indiana mother charged in the death of her toddler son is accused of being too drunk to remember how the boy ended up in her unattended car and died last week, PEOPLE confirms.

The mom, 28-year-old Britni N. Wihebrink, was arrested on Thursday and charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death, according to a probable cause affidavit supporting her arrest, which was obtained by PEOPLE.

On Wednesday, the boy was found lying unresponsive on the floorboard of Wihebrink’s car. He was later pronounced dead.

Under police questioning, Wihebrink allegedly told investigators that she couldn’t explain how her son got inside her car because she had started drinking at 11 a.m. on the day of his death.

Wihebring said “she had a really good buzz and has a bad drinking problem,” the probable cause affidavit states.

She allegedly told investigators she was drinking to help with her hangover from the night before and admitted to consuming two wine coolers and three or four Jim Beam Honey shooters, authorities allege.

She later added that she could have had more alcohol but couldn’t remember, according to the affidavit’s allegations.

The affidavit describes how Wihebrink’s toddler son was seemingly forgotten on Wednesday amid her bender:

A friend recounted visiting that day and taking Wihebrink’s keys away because she had been drinking.

Around noon, the friend left Wihebrink’s apartment and, at 1 p.m. or 2 p.m., Wihebrink told investigators she and her son laid down to take a nap.

Wihebrink didn’t wake up again until shortly after 3 p.m., when she got up to unlock the front door for her older, a 10-year-old boy, so he could get into the apartment after school, she said. (In a later interview, however, Wihebrink allegedly admitted that she couldn’t even remember if she had unlocked the door for her son or not.)

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When she got back into bed, Wihebrink said she couldn’t recall if her toddler was still beside her or not.

At 6:20 p.m., Wihebrink’s friend returned with his 15-year-old son. Wihebrink then got out bed and said she couldn’t find her 2-year-old. She was visibly drunk, the friend told investigators, and she had forgotten that the pair spoke earlier that same day.

While searching for the boy, the friend’s teenager went outside and checked Wihebrink’s car where he saw the toddler lying on the floorboard, unconscious. The teen described the toddler as hot and stiff.

Wihebrink, though, told investigators a different version of events, according to the affidavit: She said she was the one who found her son in the back of her car and brought him inside — then she allegedly changed her story and said she did not remember who found the child.

Once the boy was inside, she called 911, she said.

“My child was just found in my car and I don’t know how long he’s been in there,” she told dispatchers, according to 911 recordings obtained by the Muncie Star Press. “I took a nap, and I woke up and he was in the car.”

In another 911 call, a next door neighbor pleads for help.

“We’ve got a little boy lifeless,” the neighbor said, according to the Star Press. “He’s a baby. He’s 2. They’re doing CPR. They can’t get him going! He’s been shut up in a car.”

Wihebrink’s son is believed to have been in the hot car for hours.

RELATED: What to Know About Hot Car Deaths and How to Avoid Them

“Any child that’s locked in a vehicle in 90-degree weather for a certain amount of time, the heat is going to be a factor,” James King, Daleville’s town marshal, told the Star Press.

During their investigation, authorities found seven empty 50-milliliter bottles of Jim Bean in Wihebrink’s apartment, according to the probable cause affidavit. Three were found in her purse and four were found in her bedroom drawer.

Wihebrink allegedly admitted to throwing the empty wine cooler bottles in her apartment complex’s dumpster.

She remains behind bars without bond in Delaware County Jail, according to sheriff officials.

In a statement released to PEOPLE, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Eric Hoffman said authorities are awaiting an autopsy report to determine the child’s case of death.

“The investigation is ongoing and is nowhere near complete,” Hoffman said. “In the coming days, the prosecutor’s office will review the facts and the evidence and determine what criminal charges may be filed.”

As of Monday, a cause of death remained unconfirmed.

It is unclear whether Wihebrink has an attorney who could comment on her behalf. She has not yet entered a plea.

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