Allison Tucker

Woman admits child at risk during incident that triggered Amber Alert

By JARED STRONG
j.strong@carrollspaper.com

A Jefferson woman endangered the life of her friend’s 2-year-old child when she drove the child to Des Moines in May without the supplies needed to manage the child’s diabetes, she admitted last week.

Allison Tucker, 21, faces up to two years in prison for child endangerment, a charge to which she pleaded guilty on Friday. She had faced felony child stealing charges punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Tucker had cared for the child and a 4-year-old sibling on weekdays while their mother worked. Tucker had just moved to the mother’s house. They were longtime friends.

But on May 31, when Tucker drove the children to Des Moines, she became paranoid that someone was following her and called 911, according to court records. Tucker did not file a formal complaint with police and started to drive back to Jefferson. She again feared someone was following their pickup truck and drove to Dubuque — about 200 miles away — to escape.

Tucker had talked with the mother of the children about 7 p.m. and said she was driving back to Jefferson, but she didn’t mention being followed. The mother reported the children missing about 8:30 p.m. when they hadn’t returned.
State law officers issued an Amber Alert to help locate Tucker and the children. It said she suffers from bipolar disorder.

Later that night, Tucker drove back to Des Moines and rented a downtown hotel room, where officers arrested her about 4:50 a.m.

The child who suffers from diabetes was taken to a hospital and treated for low blood-sugar. Those with very low blood-sugar concentrations can lose consciousness, have seizures and die.

In her guilty plea Friday, Tucker wrote that she “created a substantial risk” to the child’s health.

A judge is set to decide her punishment on Jan. 22.

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