A woman whose two children drowned about four months ago in a swimming pool at a friend's home near Mount Helix where a marijuana- cultivation operation was found is due in court today for an arraignment.
Tassie Anne Behrens was arrested Thursday and is facing charges that could include child abuse, manufacture of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana for sale.
About 9:45 a.m. on May 13, Behrens awoke at a home where she was staying at 10011 Sunset Ave. in unincorporated La Mesa and found her 16-month-old daughter, Harley Bradford, and 2-year-old son, Jason Bradford Jr., floating unconscious in the backyard pool, according to sheriff's officials.
The 27-year-old mother pulled the toddlers out of the pool and she and a friend who lived at the house drove them to a nearby fire station, officials said.
Paramedics tried to revive the children, then took them to Sharp Grossmont Hospital, where Harley died shortly after arrival, authorities said. Jason was transferred to Rady Children's Hospital and died later that night.
Behrens initially told authorities that the children were found in the pool at a mobile home park on Jamacha Boulevard in Spring Valley, but later admitted she found them at her friend's Sunset Avenue residence, sheriff's Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said. She apparently told the initial story in an attempt to keep the friend from getting into trouble for not having a fence around the pool.
A subsequent search of the residence turned up a marijuana grow in the basement, Giannantonio said.
The home's resident Larry Dangelo, 44, was arrested on suspicion of child abuse and drug offenses, including cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, according to the lieutenant.
Giannantonio said that after a thorough investigation by homicide detectives and the Narcotics Task Force, an arrest warrant was issued for Behrens. She was arrested last week and has been held since at the Las Colinas Detention Facility in lieu of $505,000 bail, according to sheriff's officials and jail records.
Behrens' children's father, Jason Bradford, 35, is serving a 6-month prison sentence in Phoenix for conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine.
-- City News Service