Woman abandoned baby in stranger's driveway — 3rd similar Utah incident in a week, police say

A woman in southern Utah was arrested Tuesday after police say she left her 2-month-old daughter on a stranger's driveway — the third similar incident in Utah in less than a week.

A woman in southern Utah was arrested Tuesday after police say she left her 2-month-old daughter on a stranger's driveway — the third similar incident in Utah in less than a week. (Zoka74, Shutterstock)

Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

WASHINGTON, Washington County — A southern Utah woman has been arrested and accused of leaving her infant daughter at a stranger's home and then driving off.

The incident marks the third time in less than a week in Utah that a child was found to be abandoned or left unattended by their mother. In all of the cases, drugs or impairment were alleged to be factors.

In the latest incident, Kylie Lynn Smith, 36, was charged Wednesday in 5th District Court with child abandonment, failing to stop at the command of police, and theft, third-degree felonies; child abuse and reckless driving; class B misdemeanors; and intoxication, a class C misdemeanor.

Just after 2 p.m. Tuesday in Washington, Smith pulled into a stranger's driveway at a high rate of speed and hit the rear hitch of a pickup truck that was parked, according to a police booking affidavit.

"The witnesses advised the female kept stating her child is sick and she needed to go to the hospital. The suspect female then proceeded to open the door to the unlocked Dodge Ram pickup truck ... and attempted to start the vehicle," the affidavit states.

Because no keys were in the pickup, Smith could not start it. She then returned to her own car and began pulling items out of it, including her 2-month-old daughter who was strapped in a car seat, and placed them on the curb, according to the arrest report. "The female then proceeded to get into her vehicle and leave the scene."

The infant was taken to a local hospital to be checked out but appeared to be in good health, the affidavit says.

Based on other items left on the curb, detectives were able to identify Smith. All officers in the area were alerted to be on the lookout for her.

"After a brief period of time (an officer) was patrolling in the area of Red Hills Parkway when he noticed the suspect vehicle travel passed him at about 100 mph," according to the affidavit.

Due to safety concerns, the officer did not engage in a pursuit but was able to get a license plate number. Smith was later located in St. George and was arrested.

Witnesses told police Smith acted "like she was on drugs." Police further noted that when detectives attempted to talk to her when she was taken into custody, "she did not know what her name was. Kylie advised her name was not Kylie. Kylie's speech was slurred and she was not able to stay on topic at all," the affidavit alleges.

Smith is the fourth woman in Utah in less than a week who was arrested and accused of leaving a child alone or unsupervised.

Over the weekend, Veronica Rose Gourley, 33, was arrested in Tooele after police say she gave birth and then left her newborn in the hospital for seven hours while she smoked fentanyl. Police say she gave birth in a car at a park about 8 p.m. Friday. An officer was notified of the situation after being flagged down by a bystander. She was taken to a local hospital but left by 5 a.m. Saturday against the recommendation of doctors, according to police By 12:45 p.m. when medical staff didn't think she was coming back, police were contacted.

Gourley was charged Monday with child endangerment, a second-degree felony; and child abandonment, a third-degree felony.

On Sunday, Bluffdale police arrested two women for investigation of child endangerment after police were called to a park where they said a child was observed by others alone for hours. The child claimed his mother had been doing heroin and was asleep, a police affidavit says. Mindy Lynn Hatt, 46, and Danika Lynn Cunningham, 24, were each arrested for investigation of child endangerment and drug possession.

Smith was also charged Aug. 7 with aggravated assault and two counts of domestic violence in the presence of a child, third-degree felonies; and intoxication, a class C misdemeanor.

Child abuse resources:

  • Utah Domestic Violence Coalition operates a confidential statewide, 24-hour domestic abuse hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465). Resources are also available online: udvc.org. The statewide child abuse and neglect hotline is 1-855-323-DCFS (3237).

Help with Children

Those who feel stressed out with a child, who need a break or who feel like they need counseling or training can reach out to one of the following agencies:

  • The Family Support Center has 15 locations throughout the state and offers a free crisis nursery for parents who have to keep appointments or who are stressed out. They also offer counseling and family mentoring. Call 801-955-9110 or visit familysupportcenter.org/contact.php for more information.
  • Prevent Child Abuse Utah provides home visiting in Weber, Davis, and Box Elder counties. Parent Educators provide support, education, and activities for families with young children. Their statewide education team offers diverse trainings on protective factors, digital safety, bullying, and child sex trafficking. They are available for in-person or virtual trainings and offer free online courses for the community at pcautah.org.
  • The Office of Home Visiting works with local agencies to provide home visits to pregnant women and young families who would like to know more about being parents. Home visitors are trained and can provide information about breastfeeding, developmental milestones, toilet training, nutrition, mental health, home safety, child development, and much more. Find out more at homevisiting.utah.gov.
  • The Safe Haven law allows birth parents in Utah to safely and anonymously give up custody of their newborn child at any hospital in the state, with no legal consequences and no questions asked. The child's mother can drop off the child, or the mother can ask someone else to do it for her. The newborns should be dropped off at hospitals that are open 24 hours a day. Newborns given up in this manner will be cared for by the hospital staff, and the Utah Division of Child and Family Services will find a home for the child. For more information, visit utahsafehaven.org or call the 24-hour hotline at 866-458-0058.

Most recent Police & Courts stories

Related topics

UtahSalt Lake CountySouthern UtahPolice & CourtsTooele County
Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast