Portland nanny leaves kids in car while tanning, police say

Kristin Marie Jones accused of leaving boy, 3, and 2-month-old girl in car in 90-degree heat

Kristin Marie Jones
Kristin Marie Jones

UPDATE: The 24-year-old nanny will spend the next year and a half in state prison after leaving two children in a car on one of the hottest days this spring while she was inside a tanning salon.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) – A 23-year-old nanny is accused of leaving two children, a 3-year-old boy and a 2-month-old girl, inside a vehicle on a 90-degree day, police said.

Kristin Marie Jones pleaded not guilty Friday in Multnomah County Circuit Court on a grand jury indictment that charges her with two counts each of first-degree criminal mistreatment, recklessly endangering another, first-degree child neglect and one count of driving while suspended.

Sunblaze Tanning salon on SE Powell Blvd. in Portland (KOIN 6)
Sunblaze Tanning salon on SE Powell Blvd. in Portland (KOIN 6)

According to police reports, Portland Officer Rian Hamby responded to the Sunblaze Tanning salon in the 14800 block of Southeast Powell Boulevard on May 15, 2014 at 2:41 p.m. to check on the welfare of two children.

When the officer arrived, he spoke with a witness who directed him toward a vehicle, court documents state.

Hamby looked inside the Dodge Caravan and saw the two children, sweating and screaming. He opened the door to take the children out, court documents state.

While he was taking the boy from the car, Jones walked out of the tanning salon, court documents state. She removed the other child from the vehicle and everyone went into the tanning salon.

The officer states in his report that the boy was “soaked in sweat.” According to court documents, “the officer felt the heat radiating from (the child) through his bullet proof vest.”

Police said on the afternoon when the children were found, it was approximately 90 degrees, and none of the vehicle’s windows were open.

Jones told police that she was the nanny for the children and “initially claimed that she left the children with their mother in the car,” court documents state.

A Department of Human Services worker later told the officer  that the mother was at work all day.

Eventually, Jones admitted she had left the children unattended in the minivan and that she lied because she was scared, court documents state.

Neighbors at Jones’ apartment complex in Gresham said they are surprised, but disgusted.

“That’s somebody’s kid, life or death, why leave somebody in car,” said Jones’ neighbor, Shellsea Durbecq.

“I can’t believe that happened,” she said.

Her next court date is set for August 15.

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