Police arrest St. George mother on felony child abuse charges

ST. GEORGE – A 39-year-old woman was arrested on felony child abuse charges Monday after she allegedly abandoned her children who were found by police walking to find food late Sunday night.

Just before 11 p.m., while police were responding to a welfare check of three children in a Coronada Inn motel room at 559 E. St. George Boulevard, they spotted two young children walking to Taco Bell to get food, according to a probable cause statement filed by the St. George Police Department in support of the arrest.

“Both children were without a jacket or coat,” the arresting officer wrote in the statement. “It was stormy and late at night. It was past curfew” for a child of that age.

Kristen Anne Dennison, of Enterprise, Utah, booking photo posted Dec. 14, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News
Kristen Anne Dennison, of Enterprise, Utah, booking photo posted Dec. 14, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The officers asked the children if they could follow them home to make sure they were OK, the statement read, and the children agreed.

When they arrived at the motel room where the children were living, a 14-year-old child opened the door and allowed them inside, according to the probable cause statement. When the children were asked where their mother was, they said they didn’t know. When the officers asked if they had food, they said they did not.

Authorities contacted a relative of the children, who agreed to take the children.

The children’s mother, Kristen Anne Dennison, was located by police at approximately 2:30 a.m. Monday, driving on the St. George Boulevard with a suspended driver’s license. She was also found to have an active warrant for her arrest.

“Kristen’s speech was rapid and incoherent. When asked about her kids,” the officer wrote, “she could not remember their names or ages. She stated (she) could not remember when she had talked to them recently. She gave the wrong room when asked where the kids were staying.”

Dennison appeared to be under the influence of a stimulant, the statement read, and had a difficult time answering the officer’s questions and carrying on a conversation. She told police she had left the children to go to Mesquite, Nevada.

“When I explained the children were out late and in the cold,” the officer wrote, “there appeared to be no concern from Kristen about the children’s well-being.”

Dennison was arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.

She was charged with three third-degree felonies for reckless child abuse and a class C misdemeanor for driving on a suspended driver’s license.

Dennison made her initial court appearance Monday afternoon in 5th District Court.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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  • ladybugavenger December 15, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    I guess the 14 year old isn’t a good babysitter…mom should buy food before buying drugs

    • ladybugavenger December 15, 2015 at 7:45 pm

      Did they have money to get food at Taco Bell?

      • .... December 16, 2015 at 6:24 am

        Taco Bell doesn’t serve food. ! go go Gadget 1/4 pounder !

    • .... December 16, 2015 at 6:25 am

      Are those white kids ? Pigmy lives matter !

      • 42214 December 16, 2015 at 2:59 pm

        Always wondered what Mesaman would look like in drag. Good photo Nolan.

  • SteveSGU December 15, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Whoever called the police to check on these children, thank you!

    • Randys Sister December 16, 2015 at 8:41 am

      I agree, SteveSGU! Thank you so much to whoever reported this.

  • sagemoon December 16, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Dang tweeker.

  • Randys Sister December 16, 2015 at 8:42 am

    It is an absolute shame that women like this can have children, and other good women that would take care of their children have difficulties in having children. Shame on this woman, it’s a disgrace.

  • SSTEED December 16, 2015 at 11:37 am

    I hope those children get some much better support with their relatives; because if they don’t, they will most likely go through a similar cycle. This isn’t rare though, maybe here it is, but there are a lot of struggling families that wont ask for help, as a community we’ve got to watch out for those we can serve. It’s very sad to me that children have to pay for the mistakes of their parents.

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