Mother Accused Of Abandoning Children May Have Had Seizure

Police Search For Missing Gun

A seizure may be to blame for a stay-at-home mother leaving her children and having a 12-hour memory lapse, family members told 7NEWS.

Matt Hatfield said early toxicology tests confirmed what he knew all along: that his wife, Sarah Hatfield, had no illegal drugs in her system.

"She's not a drug-crazed mother who decided to abandon her kids for a score," said Matt Hatfield. “This is not your typical story like this.”

Police reported Hatfield missing after they found her two young sons in a van at a Thornton gas station Saturday afternoon.

Sarah Hatfield had left her keys, phone and purse in the van, police said.

At about 11:45 p.m. and 11 miles south of the gas station, a security guard called police when he spotted the woman outside National Jewish Hospital in Denver.

She told 7NEWS she had no recollection of how she got there or what she had been doing.

Police said they still have not found the gun her husband reported missing after she disappeared, and Sarah Hatfield told police she had no memory of the gun.

She was arrested on charges of child abuse, but Matt Hatfield said doctors are narrowing in on another explanation for the 12-hour memory lapse.

"They believe it's highly possible she suffers from some seizure disorder," said Matt Hatfield.

He said Sarah Hatfield has a family history of seizures and has recently suffered severe insomnia and migraines.

"Actually, seizures very frequently cause an amnesia or loss of memory," said neurologist Dr. Edward Maa, the chief of the epilepsy program at Denver Health.

Maa is not treating Sarah Hatfield, but said one in 10 people suffers a single seizure in their lives, provoked by anything from severe sleep deprivation to new medication.

"It's quite possible you could sort of recover from a seizure, look normal to people around you and perform semi-complex activities, but have no recollection of them," said Maa.

He said the length of Sarah Hatfield’s blackout, though, would be unusual, and at this point, it may also be difficult to determine whether she actually had a seizure.

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