Cedar City woman arrested for child abuse after being found outdoors with infant in below-freezing temperatures

File photo: Gephardt Daily

CEDAR CITY, Utah, Nov. 15, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Cedar City woman has been arrested for child abuse after she refused help for herself and her infant when they were found outdoors in 27 degree temperatures in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

A probable cause statement from the 5th District Court of Iron County said Crystalline Verrill, 33, is facing a charge of child abuse, a third-degree felony.

At approximately 12:50 a.m. Tuesday, officers were dispatched to a domestic problem where the suspect stated she was between Hunt Storage and McDonald’s in Cedar City. She stated that she was being stalked. The woman was located by officers at approximately 900 W. Industrial Road. The suspect, identified as Verrill, was pushing a baby stroller with a child of approximately four months old.

“She was immediately belligerent, refusing to answer our questions trying to help her,” the statement said. “It was 27 degrees Fahrenheit when officers made contact with her. I told her that it was far too cold for her child, but she argued that he was bundled up in the stroller.”

The baby was wrapped in a blanket, but was it insufficiently warm for the weather outside, the statement said. Verrill told officers she had left a residence hours earlier after an argument.

That incident was approximately 1.8 miles away from where officers located Verrill, the probable cause statement said.

Verrill has had previous encounters with Cedar City Care and Share and the Women’s Crisis Shelter and was not allowed at either, the statement said.

“I asked if she had money for a motel, and she stated that she only had $40, but it wasn’t with her,” the arresting officer wrote in the statement. “She also asked why she would waste money on a motel. I began to believe that she had no plans or intentions of staying off the streets for the night.”

Verrill stated that she had a friend that lived on 800 West, but refused to call that friend for officers to verify that information, the statement said. The officers transported Verrill to 800 West, but when they arrived she refused to show them the house she was going to or let them know where she would be staying. She repeatedly stated that she did not want to compromise her friend’s privacy.

“I was very suspicious and began to believe that she had mental illness, and did not have plans for the night,” the statement said. “After looking further into her previous involvements I found incidents were she allegedly was homeless and told officers that she would just walk around with her child. It seemed very suspicious, and I had reason to believe that she had been walking around in the cold for some time.” She told officers that she had been in the area since 5 p.m.

Verrill was transported to Iron County Jail, with her bail set at $500.


  1. A memorable passage from Childhood Disrupted (pg.24) in part reads: “Well-meaning and loving parents can unintentionally do harm to a child if they are not well informed about human development…”

    Sure, people know not to yell when baby is sleeping in the next room, for example; but do they know about the intricacies of why not?

    Yet, general society treats human reproductive rights as though we’ll somehow, in blind anticipation, be innately inclined to sufficiently understand and appropriately nurture our children’s naturally developing minds and needs.

    A psychologically sound as well as a physically healthy future needs to be all children’s foremost human right—especially considering the very troubled world into which they never asked to enter—and therefore basic child development science and rearing should be learned long before the average person has their first child.

    By not teaching this to high school students, is it not as though societally we’re implying that anyone can comfortably enough go forth with unconditionally bearing children with whatever minute amount, if any at all, of such vital knowledge they happen to have acquired over time?

    Perhaps foremost to consider is that during their first three to six years of life (depending on which expert one asks) children have particularly malleable minds (like a dry sponge squeezed and released under water), thus they’re exceptionally vulnerable to whatever rearing environment in which they happened to have been placed by fate.

    I sometimes wonder how many instances there are wherein immense long-term suffering by children of dysfunctional rearing might have been prevented had the parent(s) received some crucial parenting instruction by way of mandatory high school curriculum.

    “It has been said that if child abuse and neglect were to disappear today, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual would shrink to the size of a pamphlet in two generations, and the prisons would empty. Or, as Bernie Siegel, MD, puts it, quite simply, after half a century of practicing medicine, ‘I have become convinced that our number-one public health problem is our childhood’.” (pg.228).

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