An Izard County woman now faces 12 counts of endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree, a class D felony.
According to an affidavit for warrant of arrest for 34-year-old Joanna Mae Taylor, on July 2 at approximately 9 a.m., the Izard County Sheriff’s Office received a call for service for a welfare check on a two-year-old child.
Deputy DJ Tiernan was dispatched to the address to check on the victim. The complainant had advised that Taylor had been arrested the day prior on warrants out of Fulton County and said Taylor had left the child alone in the past.
When Tiernan arrived on scene, he was unable to get an answer at the door of the home and found the door to be locked.
Due to the circumstances, Tiernan gained entry in to the home and found the victim in a bedroom alone, with a closed door and no light on.
Tiernan noted in addition to the closed door, there was also a baby gate blocking the child’s ability to exit the room.
“When located, victim 1 was wearing no clothes, but had two diapers on, both of which were heavily soiled with urine and fecal matter,” the report said.
Tiernan requested ems to the scene to investigate the child’s medical status and Investigators Geoffrey Watts, Sean Tomlinson and Tyler Webb arrived soon after to assist while Tiernan worked with the Izard County Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) who also arrived on scene.
While waiting for medical services, authorities removed the soiled diapers, cleaned the child up and placed him in a clean diaper and fed him.
When DCFS arrived on scene, the home was photographed for documentation purposes.
Investigators noted inside the bedroom was a “pack-n-play” style baby bed which the victim was found in was filled with blankets and a pillow. A “sound machine” was turned on playing but all other lights were turned off inside the room.
A flag was found on the wall of the bedroom that read “No F**** Given”, and there were no signs of food or drink inside the child’s “pack-n-play”.
The child was removed from the home and arrangements were made for Taylor to be transported to the Izard County Sheriff’s Office from the Fulton County Jail.
“It should be noted at no point during her arrest, and subsequent incarceration in Fulton County Jail did Taylor make any mention of Victim 1 nor did she notify anyone that Victim 1 was home alone in a potentially dangerous situation,” the affidavit said.
During a post-Miranda interview with Watts and Webb, Taylor stated she had placed the victim in the bedroom and shut the door, leaving him alone at the apartment to head to work when she was arrested on a traffic stop on a warrant out of Fulton County.
Taylor continued to admit that she works seven days a week at three different nursing homes, one in Izard County, one in Independence County and one in Fulton County.
Taylor stated she works 12 hour night shifts at each facility and for the past two months, had intentionally left the victim alone on the nights she has worked.
When asked why Taylor would leave the child alone, she told authorities she had no baby sitter or family support.
“It should be noted that once family of the victim was identified, they were at the Izard County DCFS office within minutes to provide care and assistance.. multiple of these family members are Izard County residents,” the affidavit said.
Taylor continued to acknowledge that deserting the victim, leaving him alone and locked inside an apartment for a minimum of 12 to 14 hours and on a regular basis put the child at extreme risk of death or serious injury.
Authorities requested records from each of the three nursing homes at with Taylor is employed. Two of three employers are still in the process of providing employment documents, however; one recorded Taylor had worked 12 days during which Taylor stated she had left the child home alone.
As a result, Taylor is charged with 12 counts of endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree, class D felony. More charges are expected as additional records are gathered.
Taylor’s bond in Izard County has been set at $60,000.
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