SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah, Nov. 15, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Salt Lake County woman was booked Sunday on suspicion of child abandonment, a third-degree felony, after police say she left her infant on a doorstep in cold temperatures.
Tawni Lyn Blymiller, 33, was charged, then released after agreeing to conditions imposed by the court.
The child, a 4- to 5-month-old girl, was found abandoned in a car seat left on a doorstep in the 100 E. block of Beryl Avenue. The baby’s diaper bag also was left.
The woman who called dispatch had taken the baby into her family’s residence to keep her warm and safe, Blymiller’s probable cause statement says.
“I had the South Salt Lake Fire Department respond as it was now being reported that the baby had possibly been outside for more than 30 minutes in the cold,” says the statement, filed by an officer of the South Salt Lake Police Department.
“The reason for this belief is that in the past, they have always heard a baby’s crying coming from that unit, but assumed that today’s crying was coming through the walls, and heard it for about 20 to 30 minutes before looking out there window and realizing that the baby was on the front doorstep.
“The caller and her husband believed that the baby belonged to the residents of #3 as they have seen the baby left on the doorstep before while the parents park their car, and then take the baby into the house.”
The caller said she and her husband tried to contact the resident, but said no one would answer, although “They could hear talking on the inside, but could not understand it.”
Officers also tried to contact the resident, but got no answer, the police statement says.
“As the baby was showing a fever through paramedics’ medical attention, they transported her to the Primary Children’s Hospital for further medical attention along with a baby bag that was found next to her,” the statement says.
“I contacted DCFS and advised what was going on, which they provided a case number and stated a case worker would be meeting me at the Hospital.”
Paperwork found inside of the baby’s bag led officials to Blymiller.
“As the DCFS officer advised they would be working on their removal forms in order to keep the baby safe, I was notified through dispatch and other officers that the residents of #3 were now out in front of their home, having a domestic incident,” the officer’s statement says.
Blymiller told officers she was leaving her baby with the father of the child, who lives in unit 3, to be watched. Blymiller reportedly told officers she had arranged by text with the child’s father to babysit. When asked to show texts, Blymiller reportedly changed her account, saying the arrangements were made during a phone conversation.
“Tawni also reported that she had shown up with the baby, had an argument through the door with the father, and eventually was told that he wouldn’t open the door and take the baby until she was gone, being her reason for leaving the baby on the doorstep.”
Neighbors told officers they had heard no argument, and were used to the sound of arguments from that unit since they happened frequently, the statement says.
“This information led officers to believe that Tawni just showed up to unit #3 and just left the child out in the cold at the doorstep of her father,” the statement says.
The statement said that as of Sunday, officials had not been able to contact the child’s father.