ST. GEORGE, Utah -- A 1-year-old girl is in state custody after police found her roaming outside a St. George motel unsupervised. Officers say the girl was showing signs of hypothermia and dehydration.
Guests found the child crawling on the balcony of the Rodeway Inn on Red Cliffs Parkway Thursday night. Officers arrived and found the mother in a nearby room, unconscious.
“The room where the child came from was open,” said St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain. “Inside there was a female who was passed out on the floor.”
Despain said officers found alcohol on a table next to the mother, and believe she passed out from intoxication. Both the mother and the child were taken to the hospital.
“The child showed signs of hypothermia and dehydration, and just overall neglect” Despain said. “It appeared the child hadn’t been watched over or taken care of -- for how long, we don’t know.”
Police say the woman is a resident of St. George, so it’s unclear why she was staying at the motel and how long she’d been in that state. After being cleared at the hospital, Child Protective Services took the child and the mother went to jail.
She was charged with aggravated abuse of a child, a third-degree felony, and intoxication, a class C misdemeanor.
“Those aggravated circumstances were the fact that this child was in need of medical attention,” Despain said.
FOX 13 is not releasing the name of the mother to protect the identity of the child.
The mother made an initial appearance in court Monday via video conference from jail. Her bail was set at $5,220.
DCFS couldn’t comment on a specific case but says they always urge parents to use crisis centers when they’re feeling stressed or out of control. Crisis centers are staffed 24 hours a day to be able to care for children up to 72 hours if needed.
There’s a crisis center in St. George and in Cedar City. More information can be found here: http://thefamilysupportcenter.com/crisis-nursery/