Mother of murdered toddler, injured teen arrested near Cannon Beach

Mother of murdered toddler, injured teen arrested near Cannon Beach

UPDATE -- Police arrested Jessica Smith as a suspect in the murder of her 2-year-old daughter on Sunday after the toddler was found dead in a Cannon Beach hotel room two days earlier.

The Coast Guard spotted Smith on a logging road just hours after police issued a warrant for her arrest, the Cannon Beach Police Department said in a press conference Sunday night.

Smith was wanted as a suspect in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, as well as for trying to murder her 13-year-old daughter, police chief Jason Schermerhorn said. Both girls were found at the Cannon Beach inn on Friday.

Smith will be formally charged with murder and attempted murder on Monday.

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CANNON BEACH, Ore. – An arrest warrant was issued for the mother of a 2-year-old girl found dead in a Cannon Beach hotel room on Friday, police officials said in a press conference on Sunday.

The mother, 40-year-old Jessica Smith, is wanted for aggravated murder and considered armed and dangerous, according to Cannon Beach Police Chief Jason Schermerhorn.

The police chief said an autopsy on 2-year-old Isabella Smith was unable to conclude what caused her death, however he did say they've ruled her death a homicide. Police are waiting for toxicology reports.

"It's hard to know with a child that size," said Schermerhorn. "They need to await toxicology report."

There were no signs of physical abuse, he said.

Isabella's sister, 13-year-old Alana Smith, was found seriously injured in the hotel room. Police said she was a victim of attempted homicide.

Alana Smith remains in protective custody at a Portland hospital, where she is in stable condition. She has been able to speak with her family, Schermerhorn said.

Authorities were called to the Surfsand Resort on Friday morning. The children were found by hotel staff.

Police said Jessica Smith, of Goldendale, Wash., was driving a gold 2007 Chevy Suburban.

Schermerhorn said the children’s father, Greg Smith, is not a suspect and has cooperated with the investigation.

"There are no other suspects," he said.

Schermerhorn said Jessica Smith's family is concerned for her safety and gave their condolences to the community.

The FBI, U.S. Marshals and law enforcement agencies from other states are helping with the case, said the chief. The U.S. Coast Guard is providing air searches.

Schermerhorn said police do not know where Jessica Smith is. Anyone who sees Jessica Smith is asked to contact their local police. Detectives are working on tips as they come in.

"It's still wide open," the chief said. "Anything's possible. She could have gone to another state. That's why we're trying to get the information out."