St. George mom sentenced after toddler disappeared, tested positive for amphetamine

Southern Utah

ST. GEORGE (ABC4 News) – A St. George mother of a toddler who was reported missing last fall appeared in court for sentencing Wednesday.

Jennifer Rose, 38, was originally charged with marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, neglect of a disabled child, and two counts of child endangerment.

Rose’s charges stemmed from the disappearance of her 3-year-old son Brandon. Eventually, a family member, who said she feared for the child’s safety, took him to the police station as the search was ongoing.

Rose’s children remain in state custody since her arrest.

Police said the family member took 3-year-old Brandon after she went to Roses’s home around midnight, according to an affidavit. She said she found him and his 6-year-old brother alone, and the woman told police she found moldy clothes and hypodermic needles in Brandon’s reach.

Police said the toddler tested positive for amphetamine.

“As adults, our job is to keep kids safe,” Kristy Pike, director of the Washington County Children’s Justice Center, said.

Pike said staff see serious neglect cases every year, and there are some key signs to look out for. In 2018, the WCCJC interviewed more than 350 child abuse survivors.

“Children who regress, who used to be potty trained and no longer are. Those can be signs that there might be something going,” Pike added.

Pike added that in most cases of child abuse in Washington County, authorities do not remove children from their homes, but instead offer services to that family to help them better cope.

Police said Rose admitted to them that she had gone to Mesquite, Nevada to meet a “John,” clarifying that she went to have sex with a man in return for money and drugs.

Rose was sentenced Wednesday. She was placed on a 24-month supervised probation and must continue with substance abuse treatment and comply with the Division of Child and Family Services.

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