Bluffs woman forgot about baby in a hot van – is charged with child endangerment


June 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Council Bluffs woman was being held in the Pottawattamie County Jail on a Charge of Child Endangerment, after deputies were alerted to a child in a van at a local shopping mall. Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker told KJAN News a citizen reported the incident to deputies at around 7:20-p.m. Monday, as they were leaving a local pizzeria in the 1100 block of North Broadway. A woman approached the deputies and told them a baby was in a conversion van she thought was locked. The deputies investigated and found a child in a van in the parking lot of a Super Saver Store. The van’s windows were rolled-down slightly, and one of the doors was unlocked. The deputies took the child out of the vehicle. Danker said it was crying, upset and sweating.”

The 9-month old female was in the van for an estimated 25-30 minutes. The outside temperature at the time was 86-degrees. Danker said deputies placed the child in an air conditioned patrol car. He said the child’s mother came out of a store and spoke with the deputies. He says she was visibly upset. When asked why she left the baby in the van, the woman told deputies “She forgot.” She said also that she would never have left the baby in the van, but she forgot about her when she went to get some money and food for her supper. After speaking with the woman, deputies learned she had four other children, but that they were with a aunt playing in a water fountain at Bayliss Park.

The woman, 30-year old Tiffany Tunney, of Council Bluffs, was arrested for Child Endangerment. She remained in the Pott. County Jail this (Tuesday) morning on $5,000 bond. The child did not require medical attention, but Danker says “There was the real potential,” for medical problems related to the heat. The girl was placed in temporary protective custody. The Sheriff says people need to use common sense with regard to children and animals being left in vehicles during the sweltering Summer heat. He says “You just can’t leave them in a vehicle.” Make sure children are either taken into the store if you are shopping, or in some one else’s care, in an air conditioned location.