Police locate woman accused of abandoning baby

Posted at 1:24 PM, Jul 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-11 22:36:38-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Salt Lake City police have located a woman who was charged with abandoning her baby Monday in the Avenues.

Prosecutors said they can’t prove 32-year-old Jamie Dawn Todd intentionally abandoned her baby boy, but they don't buy her story and charged her Wednesday with a felony.

The Avenues is a popular spot for bicycling and running, but a Monday morning run near A Street and 5th Avenue ended in a disturbing way for a jogger.

"She found a two-month old baby in its stroller sleeping," said Salt Lake Det. Veronica Montoya. "And there weren't any adults around so she called police."

Police were not able to locate the baby's parents until Todd called them.

"She didn't have any recollection for a certain period of time so we have no information from her or anybody else as to how this child got there," said Salt Lake County Prosecutor Blake Nakamura.

Police didn't buy the story, and prosecutors allege drug paraphernalia was located in a diaper bag that was with the stroller. They charged her with felony abuse and neglect.

Police located and arrested Todd at around 11 a.m. Thursday near 500 West and 300 South, close to The Road Home shelter where she's frequented before.

The two-month-old baby boy was not injured and is now in protective custody, and police are working to figure out how the baby ended up alone in the Avenues Monday morning.

"it's concerning that we don't really have any information concerning the whereabouts of this infant prior to his discovery, that's very concerning along with a child left unattended. You couple those two and obviously our concerns are very high.  There's a lot more I'm sure that will be discovered in all this and a lot more questions that need to be asked of Ms. Todd by other agencies," Nakamura said.

The baby boy is the seventh abandoned child in Utah this year, according to the Division of Child and Family Services.

“Last year we had 20 cases of abandonment in the state of Utah," said Liz Sollis, spokesperson for the Utah Department of Health Services and the Division of Child and Family Services. "Actually last year we had more cases than previous years so it appears it's getting worse, population changes though so there's a lot of factors to consider."

FOX 13 took a look at child abandonment statistics dating back a decade. The highest number was 28 cases in 2001. Last year appears to be an anomaly. It’s been a downward trend over the last several years.