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Stranded motorist jailed for child endangerment

Published: Monday, Nov. 26 2012 8:54 a.m. MST

VERNAL — A Fort Duchesne man is expected to face charges after sheriff's deputies say they found a young child wearing nothing but a diaper inside a vehicle he walked away from after it became stuck on the side of the road.

About 11:30 p.m. Friday, a Uintah County sheriff's deputy spotted the vehicle, which appeared to be stuck, on the side of the road near Bullock Reservoir.

"When he approached the vehicle, he observed a small child curled up inside the vehicle wearing only a diaper," Uintah County Sheriff's Cpl. Brian Fletcher said. 

"No one else was around the vehicle and the vehicle wasn’t running," he said.

The deputy found Vernon Ryan Redfoot several hundred feet away from the vehicle.  Redfoot, 36, was carrying a small child with another child walking behind him. Both children were under the age of 10.

"Neither child was clothed for the below-freezing temperatures in the area," Fletcher said.

The deputy determined Redfoot was intoxicated, and discovered illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia and two rifles in the vehicle where the child in the diaper had been found, Fletcher said. 

Bureau of Indian Affairs police helped the sheriff’s department find family members, who took custody of the three children. The incident was also referred to the Ute Tribe Division of Family Services.

"Fortunately, other than being cold, the children were not injured," Fletcher said.

Redfoot was booked into the Uintah County Jail for investigation of child endangerment, drug possession and weapons violations.

E-mail: gliesik@desnews.com Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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