ST. GEORGE, Utah (News4Utah) – St. George police have made an arrest in the case of a formerly missing 3-year-old boy.
Jennifer Rose, the mother of 3-year-old Brandon Stratton, was arrested on charges of child neglect and abuse and multiple counts of child endangerment.
Last week, Stratton vanished from his home overnight and was later dropped off at the St. George Police Department the following afternoon. Police said the woman who took Stratton was concerned for his welfare.
According to a probable cause statement, the woman said she went to the house and saw it was “trashed.” She told police there were moldy clothes, needles, and other drug paraphernalia all over and within the reach of the kids. The woman said she told Rose in the past that she would take the children if she saw drugs around them again.
The woman went on to tell police that she did not take the 6-year-old child that was in the home because he was asleep. The 3-year-old, however, was awake and had opened the door when she arrived, so she feared he may leave the house.
During a follow-up interview, police said Rose admitted she had gone to Mesquite the day before reporting the child missing to get drugs and meet a man to have sex in return for money.
The children were eventually taken by the Division of Child and Family Services. The 3-year-old was tested for drugs and it was determined he had amphetamine in his system.
Rose was arrested and booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility for one count of possession of meth, one count of possession of paraphernalia, two counts of child endangerment, one count of abuse and neglect for a child with a disability. Charging documents state the 3-year-old is considered disabled due to his age.