Mother arrested in connection with toddler’s death

Toddler's death ruled a homicide, cause of death still undetermined

CANNON BEACH, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The Cannon Beach Police Department confirmed that the suspect they have in custody in connection with toddler’s killing is Jessica Smith.

Isabella Smith, 2, was found dead and her 13-year-old sister, Alana Smith, was found critically wounded by the housekeeping staff at the Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach on Friday.

A memorial grows for the toddler found dead at Cannon Beach's Surfsand Resort, pictured right. (KOIN 6)
A memorial grows for the toddler found dead at Cannon Beach’s Surfsand Resort, pictured right. (KOIN 6)

The housekeepers found them around 9:45 a.m., Clatsop County officials said in a release, and no adults were in the room.

The teen was airlifted to a Portland area hospital for treatment of critical cuts. Authorities said she is in stable condition and in protective custody.

During a 3 p.m. press conference on Sunday, Cannon Beach Police Chief Jason Schermerhorn said Isabella’s death was ruled a homicide. However, the exact cause of death is still undetermined, pending results of a toxicology report, Schermerhorn said.

An arrest warrant was issued for Jessica, 40, earlier on Sunday.

In a second press conference at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Schermerhorn revealed that the person taken into custody was Jessica.

According to authorities, the US Coast Guard Sector Columbia River spotted Jessica on a logging road in a heavily forested area 15 miles from Cannon Beach around 5:30 p.m.

Jessica Smith, a Washington mother accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter and injuring her 13-year-old, in a Clatsop County booking photo released August 4, 2014. (CCSO)
Jessica Smith, a Washington mother accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter and injuring her 13-year-old, in a Clatsop County booking photo released August 4, 2014. (CCSO)

Officers from the Cannon Beach Police Department, Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office, Astoria Police Department, and Oregon State Police, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation were able to take Jessica into custody without incident. Authorities said it appeared she had been in the area off Highway 26 since Friday.

Police said she faces charges of aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder. She is set to be arraigned in Clatsop County Circuit Court at 1:15 p.m.

Greg Smith, the children’s father and Jessica’s estranged husband, released the following statement on behalf of the family:

“We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of sympathy and support from Cannon Beach and the surrounding communities. We would also like to thank all the law enforcement agencies for their tireless efforts. Special thanks is given to the caregivers and other support individuals for their empathy and skilled care of our whole family. 

Our family is working through a very difficult time, and we would request that our privacy be respected. If, in the future, any member of the family wishes to speak with media, we will reach out directly or through police officials. Thank you.”

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