TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Michael Anthony Dufour, 29, with criminal mistreatment in the second degree and abandonment of a dependent person in the second degree, for leaving his infant daughter overnight in a freezing car at his Milton home. Dufour was also charged with possession of methamphetamine. He pleaded not guilty and is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
“Parents are supposed to protect their children,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, “but the defendant chose drugs over his child's safety and endangered her life.”
On Jan. 9, 2016 at 8:30 a.m., Milton Police received a report of a child left alone inside a car. When an officer arrived at the home, he saw the car backed into the driveway with the windows down. The temperature was 26 degrees. Dufour, who was not wearing pants or underwear, was standing in the home’s doorway holding the baby girl. She was naked, extremely red and lethargic. The baby was taken to the hospital for treatment. She was suffering from hypothermia and had frostbite on her hands and feet.
When the officer looked inside the home, he saw that it was cluttered with toys and garbage. Dufour told the officer that he is a clean person, so someone must have broken into the home and ransacked it.
While interviewing Dufour, police found 3.2 grams of methamphetamine in his pocket.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office