Deputies in Kootenai County are investigating the abandonment of two young children along Interstate 90 Tuesday morning.
A construction worker found two boys, ages 3 and 6, in a grassy area near the I-90 interchange construction project near Mile Post 1 around 9 a.m.
The 6-year-old told deputies who responded to the scene that their mother, later identified as Shannon Marie Germanton, 27, of Spokane Valley, had walked them out to the spot when it was dark and raining, said she had run out of gas and was going for help.
She was found in the bathroom with her kids and a gas can. She said she ran out of gas and stopped at Walmart to get gas.
"What happened between 8 p.m. when police officers contacted her and when the kids were found, we have no idea," Major Ben Wolfinger with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department said.
About an hour and a half after finding the children, Germanton's purse was found nearby in a construction vehicle.
Meanwhile, in the course of their investigation deputies found that she had made her way over to Jacklin Seed, where an employee gave Germanton, who is also known as Shannon Marie Duval, a ride to the Exxon gas station at Pleasant View Road and Riverbend Drive between 6:30-7:30 a.m.
She reportedly told a station employee she had been in a fight with her boyfriend and needed to make a call to get a ride. Throughout the day she has reportedly been spotted in the vicinity of the Exxon station but investigators have not been able to locate her.
The children, who didn't have any shoes and had been left there for several hours, were checked out by EMS personnel and placed into foster care by Child Protective Services.
Germanton, who has been arrested multiple times on drug charges, has not been located. If you know of her current whereabouts you're asked to call the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office at 208-446-1300.