Toddler dead at Cannon Beach resort; mother sought

Authorities called to Surfsand Resort Friday morning found the two girls

CANNON BEACH, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A 2-year-old girl was found dead and her 13-year-old sister critically wounded by the housekeeping staff at a Cannon Beach hotel, and authorities are searching for their mother.

The housekeepers at Surfsand Resort found the teen and the toddler around 9:45 a.m., Clatsop County officials said in a release, and no adults were in the room.

Jessica Smith of Goldendale, Washington, in an undated photo released by the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office, August 1, 2014
Jessica Smith of Goldendale, Washington, in an undated photo released by the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office, August 1, 2014

The teen was airlifted to a Portland area hospital for treatment of cuts.

A gold 2007 Chevrolet Suburban is being driven by Jessica Smith, 40, from Goldendale, Washington. The Washington license plate is APX3141.

Smith is the mother of both children. Authorities said she is at this time a person of interest, and they are concerned about her welfare.

The Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach, August 1, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
The Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach, August 1, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

“It’s a very sad day for Cannon Beach and we’re doing the best we can to figure out what happened here,” said Police Chief Jason Schermerhorn.

Investigators from the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office, Clatsop County District Attorney’s Office, the police departments of Cannon Beach, Seaside and Astoria and the Oregon State Police are involved.

By Friday night, a memorial with balloons and flowers had grown for the deceased 2-year-old child.

Family history

KOIN 6 News learned Jessica Smith and her husband were going through a divorce.

The family has lived in Goldendale, Washington since 2006, where the children’s father works at Klickitat Valley Health. Former neighbors told KOIN 6 News they had concerns over Jessica Smith’s mental stability.

Vacationers shocked

People visiting Cannon Beach were shocked at the events that had unfolded Friday.

“We heard cop sirens and stuff but I never thought something like this,” said vacationer Sydnie Castillo. Another visitor, Jonathan Millie, said he had never heard of “anything like this” happening in the town.

KOIN 6 News will have more information as it develops.

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