More prison for baby sitter who took off with Dallastown toddler
A Dallastown woman who absconded with a 2-year-old girl and was missing for 15 hours must serve more time in York County Prison before being released.
Jasmine Myers, 27, pleaded guilty Tuesday in York County Court to interfering with the custody of a child as well as to driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time of the incident, according to deputy prosecutor Diana Spurlin. Myers also pleaded guilty in an unrelated DUI case from December, the prosecutor said.
On March 20, Myers was baby-sitting Maria for the child's mother, Desiree Schubert, and was supposed to drop off Maria after Schubert returned to her Dallastown home after work, according to court documents.
Myers never showed up and stopped answering her phone, police said. She also did not return phone messages left for her by officers searching for Maria, according to York Area Regional Police.
An acquaintance who had seen Myers that evening told police she had been asking people for $10 and trying to find someone to take Maria for her. She stormed off when no one gave her what she wanted, court documents state.
Alert dispatcher: York County 911 dispatcher Amy Grimes was at work the night Maria's mother reported her missing.
As Grimes was driving home the next morning about 8:15 a.m., she spotted a car that matched the description of the vehicle Myers was supposed to be driving, according to police.
Grimes stopped and let the car pass her, which is when she verified that the license-plate number also matched, she told The York Dispatch. Then she saw a tiny arm in the back seat of the car.
"That was the home run," Grimes has said.
She followed the car while calling 911 and, less than two miles later, officers stopped the car and arrested Myers.
"I just sat there and cried," Grimes said at the time. "I was so happy."
York County spokesman Carl Lindquist has said the odds of a 911 dispatcher coming across the missing child were slim.
"It's nothing short of a miracle," he said at the time.
Spurlin said Myers has never fully explained why she took off with Maria.
"She chalked it up to having a lot going on," Spurlin said. "In the end, everything turned out OK for (Maria and her mother), despite how scary the experience was."
Punishment: As part of a negotiated plea agreement, Myers received a combined sentence of five years of intensive probation, with the first 10-1/2 months in York County Prison. She will receive credit for the 4-1/2 months she's already served in prison, according to Spurlin.
Once paroled from prison, Myers must spend nine months on house arrest and wear an alcohol-monitoring ankle cuff, Spurlin said.
Myers also must submit to a mental-health evaluation and comply with recommended treatment, according to the prosecutor. She has already received a drug-and-alcohol evaluation, Spurlin said.
For the DUI cases, Myers also must pay $5,000 in fines and perform 100 hours of community service.
Myers was intoxicated while driving around with Maria; her blood-alcohol level was determined to be 0.144 percent, and she had marijuana in her system, Spurlin confirmed. In Pennsylvania, an adult is driving drunk at 0.08 percent.
"Our goal is to get her sober so things like this don't happen again," Spurlin said. "The (victim's) mother understands that (Myers) needs treatment. ... But she did want some form of incarceration."
It will be up to Myers to decide whether to rehabilitate herself, according to the prosecutor.
"I hope she takes advantage of the tools we're giving her to get clean and sober, and turn her life around," Spurlin said.
Myers' public defender, Alisa Livaditis, did not return a phone message seeking comment.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com.