State police: Couple arrested after children found in cargo area of U-Haul

SMITHS GROVE, Ky. – Kentucky State Police arrested an Ohio couple after finding two children in the cargo area of a U-Haul box van during a traffic stop Tuesday night.

While acting on a tip that children were riding unrestrained in the cargo area of the vehicle, two troopers conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 65 near the 40-mile marker in Warren County at about 6:19 p.m.

The driver, Adam C. Smith, 28, along with a passenger, Thora Thornton, 19, both of Newark, Ohio had rented the cargo van earlier in the day, according to a release from KSP. The cargo van was not equipped with passenger seating for additional occupants in the cab portion of the vehicle.

Two juvenile passengers, who are related to Thornton, were located in the rear cargo area of the van, and were unrestrained, according to the release. Both juveniles were uninjured when troopers stopped the vehicle.

Smith and Thornton are both charged with first-degree criminal abuse. Smith is additionally charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol first offense, possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle prohibited, speeding, booster seat violations, failure to wear seatbelts and license to be in possession.

They were lodged in the Warren County Regional Jail.