Iowa babysitter charged after one-year-old found along highway

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An Iowa woman faces criminal charges after a baby in her care apparently fell from her car before it was found along a state highway.

The one-year-old boy was reportedly found sitting along Highway 141 west of Perry, Iowa on Sunday, December 29, 2013.  Someone reportedly took the child to an area hospital, and deputies were called there just before 4 p.m.

A short time later, the boy’s babysitter, 31-year-old Catalina Ortiz-Ortega of Guthrie Center, reportedly arrived at the hospital and told deputies she heard her rear car door open and close but that she didn’t realize the baby had fallen out of the vehicle.

It was 10 degrees with a wind chill of -8 degrees when the boy was found.

The boy was treated at the hospital and later released to his mother.

Ortiz-Ortega was reportedly charged with child endangerment and failure to have a valid driver’s license.   Online jail records show she was released from the Dallas County Jail after posting bond on December 29.

Court records show Ortiz-Ortega pleaded guilty in November 2013 to an unrelated charge of no valid driver’s license after she was cited in a separate incident in October.


  • Ramona

    Really how would she not know the little didn’t fall right, or even to not hear the car door who’s biting her story not me,

  • Shelley Brown

    what the hey is she even doing w this child sounds like shes needs some mental care in the first place….whats wrong w the parent who left their child w her???? Idiot parent

  • Dcshoegnome

    This lady is obviously lying. Shame on that judge for giving her a bond. She needs to still be in jail. At the VERY least for being a repeat offender driving with no valid License. These parents need to be ashamed as well.

  • Techi

    WOW – just when you think you have heard it all.
    I am baffled, how does babysitter hear a car door open and close, but does not notice a missing 1 yr old from the car seat he should be sitting properly in immediately??
    There has to be a bit more to this story. Either way, Thankfully the little guy was not accidently killed on a highway, and a good hearted person had common sense to rush child to ER. What an experience that had to be for that person to find a baby on the highway!
    Lesson to be learned here: Never hire a babysitter that does not have a legal drivers lic. Always ensure to provide car seats to babysitter showing how to properly restrain child within the car seat, and make sure the child safety features are on lock mode when children are riding in back seat. Better safe than sorry in the scheme of things.

  • Sara

    If the child was in his seat right, he shouldn’t of fallen out. Plus, there was cars that have a child safety feature on the door that you cannot open it from the inside. Everyone who has this should use it!

  • Gayla

    My 2 year old grandson would not be able to get out of his car seat and open the door. There is no way a 1 year old could get out. I think she dumped him along the roadside. The judge should have his head examined. He wasn’t too bright on that call. She needs to be in a mental ward.

  • Danielle Marheine

    hmmmmmmm a one year old opened and closed the car door, and must have unlatched itself from the child safety seat. lol sounds fishy to me, like maybe the child was crying and she dropped him off in the cold

  • kris kelley

    Seriously? The article didn’t say if it was her kid!!! For all we know it was some ones else’s kid and she has no license was last reported in Dallas so yes she’s illegal of course we don’t know that but ppl the kid was given back! F*** that

  • K

    There are a lot of bad day care situations that people get their children involved with. I don’t know if people take their children to these negligent sitters because they are cheaper than quality child care providers, because of waiting lists, or what. Parents need to thoroughly investigate the people or centers that they consider for their children. There is often much more than meets the eye in an initial interview.

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