Police: Mom who says she fell into creek with toddler charged with child abuse
CENTRAL, Utah — A 40-year-old woman who told police she accidentally fell into a northern Washington County creek with her 1-year-old son has been charged with child abuse, according to court documents.
The woman, whom KSL TV has declined to name to protect the child’s identity, was charged Monday in 5th District Court with reckless endangerment and a third-degree felony count of child abuse.
Authorities said deputies were dispatched to Central, Utah, which is about 22 miles north of St. George, on Saturday on a report of a suspicious vehicle.
The reporting party told police the mother of his child had parked her truck at his house, but neither she nor the child could be located.
According to court documents, the man found a blanket and car seat that belonged to his child on the ground.
A short time later, the man reported a friend had found the woman at a nearby creek, and the friend said she was wet from the waist down.
Deputies spoke to the father’s friend, who said “he found (the woman) and the baby yelling down by the creek and he saw the baby with no shoes, no blanket, no socks and no jacket.”
Authorities said the reported temperature in the area at the time was 30 degrees and there was snow on the ground.
“EMTs arrived on scene and they stated the baby’s feet were purple and he was freezing, his legs and lips were trembling,” court documents read.
After being read her Miranda Rights, deputies say the woman told them she “took her son by the creek around (4 p.m.) because they haven’t been down there in a while.”
The woman also told authorities she accidentally fell and didn’t have her phone on her.
When asked about the child’s socks, the woman allegedly said she didn’t realize they had fallen off.
Deputies said the woman told them she tried to walk away from the creek, but she got stuck in a bush.
Authorities then contacted officials with the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, who said they have “numerous cases with (the woman) and the baby but did not have a valid address for her to open a case.”
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