The woman, listed only as "Mother" in the court opinion, had her children removed from her home in 2002:
At around 6:45 p.m. on September 28, 2002, Officer Mark Gann responded to a call to check on the well-being of the Children at a Wal-Mart store in Springfield, Missouri. While there, he made contact with Mother and the Children. He noticed that Mother appeared disoriented, had slurred speech, and did not comprehend what he said to her. S.C.M informed him that she was hungry and had not eaten anything since the previous night. Mother told him that she had taken several different types of drugs, some prescription, and that on occasion she used recreational drugs. She maintained that while the Children had seen her take pills and drink, they had never seen her shoot up dope because they were already asleep. Office Gann arrested Mother on charges of child endangerment, contacted the Division of Family Services ("Division"), and took protective custody of the Children.
The mother's problems stemmed from an untreated mental illness according to the opinion:
Mother has a long history of mental problems. When she was younger, she was raped by an acquaintance and left for dead in a shallow grave. She did not receive adequate therapy for this trauma. She has suffered from bipolar disorder since she was a teenager. There was no evidence presented other than this was a permanent condition. The events at Wal-Mart which led to the assumption of jurisdiction over the Children were the result of Mother's failure to adequately manage her mental illnesses and her medications therefor, her chemical dependencies on illegal substances, or a combination of both.