Last Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024 at about 11 p.m., multiple Kent Patrol Officers were dispatched to the 24100 block of Russell Road (map below) following several 911 calls reporting a single vehicle accident that resulted in DUI arrest and frantic search for a missing baby.

Witnesses told 911 that airbags had been deployed in the accident, and they believed that a baby might still be inside the car.

Police said that Officers arrived quickly and located the vehicle driver and only occupant sitting inside her vehicle. The suspect, a 36-year-old Kent woman, knocked over three trees, struck a fence, and her car ended up partially on the curb and sidewalk facing southbound in the northbound lane.

When Officers approached her vehicle, she started to scream that she had killed her baby, but a baby was not found in her vehicle. Her behavior was erratic – she was trying to hug Officers and screaming. Firefighters from Puget Sound Fire were called to assess her injuries and to treat any injuries to the baby that had not yet been found.

For over 20 minutes, Officers and firefighters searched for the missing baby, fearing that the child may have been ejected from the vehicle. During this time, Patrol Officer K. Petersen found the suspect’s address and asked Sergeant GoForth and Officer Beemer to immediately respond to her home to see if the baby was there. At about 11:35 p.m., Officer Beemer advised via radio that he had found the baby, age 1, on the front porch of the suspect’s apartment, still in her car seat. It was about 50 degrees and raining.

The baby’s father was home, and the investigation revealed that the suspect had been driving around with the baby during the afternoon and had stopped to drink at a bar. At some point she left the bar and dropped her 1-year-old off at the doorstep without contacting the father who was home but sleeping. It is unknown at this point how long the baby was left outside. The baby was thankfully uninjured and was left with the father and family members who arrived to assist.

The suspect was medically cleared and transported to the City of Kent Jail where she was booked for one count of DUI and one count of Abandonment of a Dependent Person. The Officers petitioned for and were granted a search warrant for her blood to determine both her blood/alcohol level and level of drugs in her system. CPS was notified regarding the mother’s actions.

We want to thank the residents who called to report this accident and stayed on scene to give their statements. We also want to acknowledge the quick-thinking actions of our Patrol Officers in gathering intel to help us locate the baby and working as a team on this chaotic incident, as well as the firefighters who jumped right in to help the Officers.

We could not be more grateful that this little girl was found safe and uninjured. This incident could have easily gone very differently as we have recently seen in neighboring jurisdictions.

Do not drink and drive.

Please get help. There are resources for you. Do it today: