BOTHELL, Wash. - Troopers found three children and a Chihuahua in the trunk of a car that was pulled over for speeding as a family was heading to the kids' grandmother's house on Sunday, the Washington State Patrol told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News.
Troopers said it started as a routine traffic stop on Interstate 405 near Bothell, but the trooper who pulled over the Nissan Sentra quickly became suspicious.
"While he's standing there, he smells the obvious odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle," said Keith Leary of the Washington State Patrol.
In the back seat, the trooper saw a pile of junk, including bags, backpacks, a snowboard and a guitar. The trooper asked the driver, 28-year-old Anna Boyle, and her passenger to step out of the car. The trooper searched it and found several drug-related items, troopers said.
The trooper found "glass pipes, tinfoil, spoons with heroin residue -- based on his experience and training, methamphetamine residue," Leary said.
More troopers arrived, and one of them heard a thumping noise coming from the car. He saw the truck lid move upwards and decided to open it.
"When the trunk popped open they found three children ages of 8, 7 and 5," along with a Chihuahua wrapped in a blanket, Leary said.
Boyle told troopers the children crawled into the trunk from the back seat, but troopers don't believe that story, said Leary.
The kids said they had not eaten since the night before, so troopers bought them food while they waited for Child Protective Services.
"You don't even have to be a parent to think what was going through these people's minds, why are they making these decisions, obviously bad decisions," Leary said.
The children were not hurt.
The parents, Anna Boyle and Aaron Johnson, were jailed on drug charges.
Snohomish County prosecutors are working on whether to charge them with other crimes.