VIDOR (October 22, 2013) Melissa Ringhardt, 19, was facing a child abandonment charge Tuesday after a 5-year-old boy for whom she was caring shot and killed himself with a gun that authorities say she was carrying because she was afraid of being alone in the home.
Ringhardt was babysitting the 5-year-old and 6-month-old Monday in the home in Vidor when she left the handgun on a table and went into another room to take a nap, Orange County Chief Deputy Sheriff Clint Hodgkinson said.
When she awoke, she found the 5-year-old boy lying in the living room with a gunshot wound, authorities said.
There was no phone in the home, so the babysitter carried the child to his grandparents' home, and authorities were called.
Ringhardt was facing a charge of abandoning or endangering a child, which is a felony.
Bond was pending Tuesday afternoon.