May 17, 2022

Fourth arrest made in child endangerment case

A fourth person was arrested for an October incident in which four children tested positive for methamphetamine.

Mariah R. Dawson, 23, of Ottumwa, is charged with child endangerment after officers picked her up in Wapello County on a warrant. Dawson was transported to the Jasper County Jail on Tuesday and later released on a $3,000 bond.

The child endangerment charge stems from events that occurred in Newton last fall. Officers were advised that four children, ages 2, 4, 6 and 9, tested positive for meth while in the care of Dawson and three other adults. Officers were told that Dawson and Eric P. McDowell were caring for three of the children while staying with Somer M. Speer, who was responsible for the 9-year-old child.

Speer, Dawson and McDonnell all tested positive for meth or admitted to using it while in the care of the children they were responsible for, according to police records.

Christy J. Clark, who was responsible for the 2, 4 and 6-year old children, and Speer were arrested on Dec. 9. McDowell was arrested on Feb. 2.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or