More details released about babysitter accused of letting toddler roam free in Elkhart

Stephanie Dearling-Tibbs (Photo supplied/Elkhart County Sheriff's Department)

Court documents show that a babysitter who let the little girl under her care run free on Elkhart streets was sleeping at the time and found with drugs.

Officers say 31-year-old Stephanie Dearling-Tibbs was found asleep at her residence at the Overlook Apartments complex on S.R. 19 Wednesday. She also had drugs and paraphernalia in plain sight at various spots in the home, according to the Elkhart Truth.

The girl was found running attended in an open area around S.R. 19. Officers couldn’t find her parents or caretakers and asked the public’s help in identifying her.

Court documents say the girl’s aunt called police to tell them who she was and explain that her father dropped her off a babysitter. Police talked to the father, who said he dropped the girl off with Dearling-Tibbs at about 1 p.m. Wednesday and mentioned that she had been sleeping when he arrived.

Hours later, officers spoke to Dearling-Tibbs at the complex. When she walked officers back to the apartment, one officer allegedly smelled something burning. Inside, the officer reportedly found marijuana sitting on a counter, another partially smoked marijuana cigarette, a broken methamphetamine pipe, yet another bag of marijuana, and more drug paraphernalia.

Court documents also say Dearling-Tibbs got hostile with officers and had to be restrained and handcuffed before a search warrant was issued for her apartment. During the second search, officers found five amphetamine salt pills, a second meth pipe, “an unidentified white rock substance”, and a single anti-depressant pill that requires a doctor’s prescription.

Dearling-Tibbs is charged with felony neglect of a dependent, maintaining a common nuisance, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of a legend drug. She also faces other drug-related misdemeanors and has a failure to appear warrant out of Bartholomew County on a misdemeanor conversion charge.

As of Friday, she remained in Elkhart County Correctional Facility on $10,000 bond. She’s scheduled to be in court on Friday.


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