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Iowa woman found guilty of child endangerment by jury after leaving baby in freezing car

BOONE, IOWA – An Iowa woman left her 4-month-old baby in a freezing car and was only potentially saved from a terrible outcome after a police officer discovered the child alone in a parking lot.

According to the testimony at trial, on January 10, 2019, at approximately 9:42 PM, a call came into the Boone County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch that there was a suspicious car in the St. Malachy’s Church parking lot. The car was located in the far corner of the lot in a secluded and dark area. An officer responded. The officer testified that the vehicle was not running, without heat inside, and the outside temperature at the time was approximately 20 degrees. The officer shined his flashlight in the car and saw a car seat with a four month old baby inside. The officer attempted to unlock the vehicle doors to get the four month old in a heated vehicle. About 20 minutes later after the car alarm went off the defendant, Katherine Mondragon, came running to the vehicle. Katherine Mondragon advised that she was having vehicle trouble and left the baby inside the vehicle as she went for help. However, when Mondragon was ready to leave the vehicle started right up and drove off.

The jury returned a guilty verdict on June 25, 2019, finding Katherine Marie Mondragon guilty of Child Endangerment for leaving a four month child unattended in the vehicle for that length of time and in that type of weather.

Assistant Boone County Attorney, Lily Dayton, tried the case on behalf of the State of Iowa for the prosecution. Katherine Mondragon was defended by a local attorney. The sentencing hearing will be held sometime in the next six weeks. The maximum penalty for Katherine Mondragon’s conviction is up to 2 years with the Iowa Department of Corrections and fines.

Katherine Mondrago
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