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Teacher's Aide Accused of Abandoning Daughter

The 12-year-old girl was found naked near Vail Elementary School rummaging in trash bins for food.

A Temecula elementary school teacher's aide who allegedly abandoned her 12-year-old daughter in a car, where the child was discovered naked and famished, was released from jail today.

Tracy Lynn Betts, 40, was arrested Thursday afternoon on suspicion of child endangerment after deputies discovered her daughter alone in a vehicle parked near Vail Elementary School, where the suspect works, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Betts stayed overnight at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta and was released after posting a $15,000 bond, jail records show.

According to sheriff's officials, concerned residents in the 29000 block of Avenida De Calzada called 911 when they spotted a girl walking in the area unclothed, rummaging for food in garbage cans.

Deputies searched the neighborhood and found the girl nude in a car. After questioning her, they learned her mother was working at the elementary school, where Betts was arrested without incident, authorities said.

The child was taken to a hospital for treatment and placed in the care of Riverside County Child Protective Services personnel.

An April 12 court date was set, according to sheriff's jail records.

Editor's note: This story was updated at 10:04 p.m.

Cik Bast February 19, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Sounds like this mother will fit right in with the other worthless folks in this unionized school system with parents that see an empty car as day-care, or a middle-school as day-care and continue to enable the government-run unionized teachers not teaching, being predators, accepting old & slow as their motto and seeking out their entitlement workplace that is already a drag on an already sorry system.
Susie Lichty February 19, 2012 at 01:04 AM
How do you know that this is the same person? since she is apparently married, and her husband's last name is the same, wouldn't that mean that most likely she had a different maiden name?
Diane92 February 19, 2012 at 01:32 AM
IF she is 40, that would make her born in 1972 approx. this information is 1968-1970... @zippy.....more like BOZO PINHEAD
Temecula mom February 19, 2012 at 04:21 AM
What is misleading in this story Jennifer, that she was naked, that she was going through the trash for food, that she was left in a car away from the school! Are you kidding me when u say she's a good mom! Wow!
The Peacekeeper February 19, 2012 at 04:39 AM
I think the fact that Jennifer called this mother "amazing", is misleading! You see, prior to a Police Officer making an arrest for a specific crime(s), ALL elements in the definition of that specific crime must be present. So just how would a person be labeled an "amazing mother" if she was good enough to be arrested for Child Endangerment and other crimes?????
jill February 19, 2012 at 05:45 AM
Patch you need to take that picture down with the other district employees! That is really NOT OKAY to have their faces attached to this horrendous story. Her co-workers have nothing to do with her parenting.
Peter Surowski February 19, 2012 at 07:21 AM
Hey folks, Thanks for the feedback on the photo. We identified the suspect and cropped the photo so only she is in it. I hope that helps.
JJ Mclure February 19, 2012 at 03:31 PM
the photo is the only chance for publicity
Maggie February 19, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Sounds like this child has some issues. Who knows what really happened? The child could be mentally challanged and decided to go find mom. I've seen this happen before and the parents were not arrested. The child was found and brought back home. Leave this family alone. Unless you have a challenged child, you have no idea what you are talking about.
Cik Bast February 19, 2012 at 04:08 PM
The other district employes are accomplices. Every school district in California is an accomplice in corruption and mishandling of children and their lack of education in their district. Someday we'll be rid of the protectionist union that lobby's on behalf of these monstrous teachers and privatize education so the majority of horrible child-destructive teachers are weeded-out. But until then, they are protected by Jerry Brown; they cant be fired, but are moved from one district to the next.
temeculan February 19, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Alot of folks are quick to crucify anyone based on the word of the "media". For that reason...Patch, i.e., Peter Surowski needs to be held accountable. If anyone else; the police, the courts, you or I had misrepresented a situation or issue like what happended here - they would be held accountable. What say you Peter?
temeculan February 19, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Brenda writes, "The only err was posting a picture.....which is done in papers all the time" The "error", if occuring in the UK, would result in Peter being liable for damages. So an entire country might disagree with you that what "Patch" did was WRONG. We all are better off, now, that Patch has "fixed it"...but ...at the very least someone owes someone an apology. Don't bend over backwards excusing them Brenda. In the good ole US of A, we love throwing people under the bus. It's great sport right?
Temecula momma February 19, 2012 at 11:46 PM
@Brenda..thanks for posting that article from the Huff. Post. I was wondering if the Mom kept her daughter naked so she would not get out of the car...? Just a thought..This is one crazy story, and I do enjoy all the comments! Hopefully, we will get some truth to all of this soon....
temeculan February 20, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Heres another interesting story. Would we all blame the mother as well? http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/02/20/police-find-remains-ohio-girl-missing-since-1-in-accused-rapists-home/#ixzz1muciPzL4?test=latestnews
citizen February 20, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Brenda.. Please stop speculating about everything. You were not there. You do not know the family. You do not know the facts. And please stop bashing police and cps- it is obvious you do not have any experience in those areas either. I have personally worked with both and say with confidence you are wrong. It is not police's job to raise a child, it is the parent. To say a parent cannot touch a child is ridiculous and untrue. Cps does not go around at random and take kids into protective custody for no reason. Cps does have criteria they follow and depending on the case, will attempt several times to get the parents on board with appropriate parenting before any child is removed. Cps took this child into TEMPORARY custody. I suggest you schedule a ride along with a police department to see the unbelievable stuff they are called to and realize they don't make this stuff up. It may open your eyes a little to the world around you.
Jennifer Cartell February 20, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Peter: What's the latest on this? Was the daughter actually a run away when this happened? If yes, how could Mom be guilty unless she made the daughetr run away?? Seems that a 12 year old could figure out ow to get some clothes on. My 11 year old can. Since this has hit the Huffington Post, KCal LA and San Diego News...more facts are needed asap. You have presumed this Mom is guilty before finding out all the facts. One-sided journalism. Please find out more facts and report them so this mother, teacher's aide and citizen of our town doesn't get injured by vigilantes based on partial information. You owe this to your profession and to this town. Temecula is getting a bad rap all over the place based on partial information. Does this 12 year old have a history of mentall illess? Did someone else abuse her while she was on the run?? Important questions to answer. You may have also put the school district in jeopardy by releasing the picture that way. A lot of folks are concerned about this case. Let's make sure this is factual vs partial reporting to sensationize the case. Too many questions left unanswered while everyone gets worked up over this initial report.
Jennifer Cartell February 20, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Pualani: I concur. If she was a runaway, possibly she was raped and hit over the head by some other guilty party or possib ly suffering from PTSD from a severe trauma inflicted by someone other than her mother. Many more facts needed before we assume the Mom is guilty. Sounds like a possible sexual assault ocurred and she needs medical attention-which I'm sure CPS has handled. Hope the end result of this will be reported to clear the air and ensure the 12 year old gets good care.
Brenda is annoying February 20, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Brenda, you post to much
Brenda February 20, 2012 at 11:10 PM
LOL, I know and since I went and looked at my log thingie the other night of posts I know that. So I have promised myself only 1 post a day if even that. :) Its all good.
Temecula momma February 22, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Just read that the little girl was a foster child to Ms. Betts.....and, that Ms. Betts had taken her clothes so she wouldn't get out of the car...and, evidently this wasn't the first time she was left in the car while Ms. Betts was working. http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/temecula/temecula-headlines-index/20120221-temecula-mother-of-girl-left-naked-now-on-leave.ece
Brenda February 22, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Gawd, thank you Temecula Momma for the new information. The new article is still filled with alot of assumptions so its hard to believe one way or the other. But something was definately wrong even leaving a clothed 12 year old in the car for 3 to 4 hours, then add mental disabled and even more so. So even going with the bare facts there has been some sort of abuse done to the child. Its very difficult to find foster parents in the first place in Riverside county who will accept teenagers, and even harder to find one that will take mental challenged children. Its very hard, stressful, exhausting to take care of them, and some go in with the best intentions but then loose it eventually. I am not defending this woman, I am more making a point of how much we as a country, county lack care for foster children especially handicapped ones. Or even provide adequate help between Cps, real parents, troubled teens, and the courts. There is alot of teenagers who would not need foster care if the "rules" were diffferent and they were held more accountable with their parents then just told "they" the teenager can do and go whereever they want to live. Her still being paid is just a policy like the police etc have that says they will receive pay, and possible be put on a desk job in a room by themselves until the person is actually charged with the crimes. Some even go so far as to the end of trial and proven innocent or guilty.
P. Ervin February 23, 2012 at 06:50 PM
No matter what problems are involved, who it their right mind thinks that leaving a child of any age in a car for an extended period of time is a good idea? Oh ya, lets take her clothes so she wont run away...really? I've raised 4 kids and no matter what problems or trouble they could ever get in, their welfare ALWAYS came first! Our job as parents is to protect and care for our kids. So even if the Mom is not guilty of abuse prior to this incident, she sure sounds guilty of cruel and unusual punishment for leaving her daughter in a parked car with no clothes, food or water, while shes at work. How many people get in trouble for leaving their pets in the same situation?
tryright2 February 24, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Brenda, the police and CPS know what they are doing and you and others need to consider there are some details the police won't release and of course CPS will not release unless she was killed. (of course by then it will be too late) so the Patch is limited in what they can report! This woman was arrested because she did something wrong and broke the law. I understand her job can't fire her right now because she only accused. I'm sure later down the line, the school will have more rights in regards to not letting her return. (hopefully parents will be up in arms about allowing her to work at a school & I hope the community will raise 'hell' if the DA claims to not have enough'evidence to prosecute!) Next, you talk about troubled teens but it seems to me this girl is not a teen, she's an underdeveloped child, 12yrs. The pictures from her so called 'run away' article don't show a teen. ( I don't believe she ran away because anyone who leaves a naked child in a car alone with no food 1 time, & Tracy did it at least twice according to the last article, would put a child out side at night with no food and not let her in the house. I would bet the police did not really question this girl or refer it to CPS, They haven't told us how long she has been a foster child, but they have told us that the Betts had a foreclosure filed against them in 09 and they included info that they filed for bankruptcy..... not surprised they have a foster child to abuse & get paid doing it!
tryright2 February 24, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Brenda, also, no information from the police said this child has a mental illness. They said in the first one she was famished. In the latest one, they said the mother was not starving the child.... In the 'run away' aricle, the person reported the child came in the business and asked for some potato chips....cause she was hungry? I say its too soon for the police or CPS to know about on going abuse like not feeding because I'd bet right now this girl, as any child would be, believes she did something wrong by getting out of the car and causing this problem for her mother! Most kids would need either someone they are close to and trust or therapy or forensic child interviewing for abusive info to come out. It rarely comes from a child right away when they police are questioning them and CPS is putting them in foster care away from their parents. Come on people...It's past time to make child abuse a serious offense!
Brenda February 24, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Tryright, not sure who's post you are referring to but I am the first to say that the article does not have information as it is private, especially regarding children. So where some are presuming things, or asking for more information from patch, its not going to be available to the public, if it ever is, or if there is a trial, and not much ever on the child. Re-read my posts. Also All of the news articles regarding this are careful to NOT put things in the articles which are not true, are giving the minimal facts as they know it, and use all the proper wording, suspicions, alledgedly, etc. I think in one paper "neighbors" were beginning to tell more informative stories which tend to happen as bigger news agencies show up to get all the dirty stuff they can. Which is unfortunate watching everyones stories get a bit more elaborate. Like I said, reread my posts as I am the first to say Patch is limited as well as other news sources, as well they should be until accurate information is available.
Brenda February 24, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Tryright, you are correct there was no mention until the Hoff report I believe, and also another report from when the child ran away a few months ago and she was found. Others have stated that for a teeanager, or very teenager would not get out a car naked for anything, especially for 3 or 4 hours to rummage thru trash cans for food. And others who have themselves or worked with disabled teens have suggested there might be a possibility of THAT. Its in the whole flow of the posts and comments tryright and if you read them all you will see where all these topics were brought up.. I also say over and over its too soon to make assumptions or hang anyone yet as innocent until proven guilty, and those who have ALL the information will be the ones to determine what happened along the way while this girl has been in foster care with this woman. I am certainly not going to respond to their personal bankruptcy, reason for it etc. as it does not do with this case, and also its difficult to make something out of it when the best of people have suffered bankruptcy, foreclosure, lost jobs the last 5 years. Not only does it need to be a more serious offense, but a sentence that is worthy of the crime on a innocent child.
Shannan Buffolino February 28, 2012 at 11:01 PM
I agree with paul..I think i heard that the mom is actually the girls foster parent..I want to know why the girl wasnt in school. apparently the mom claimed that she had her naked in the car so she wouldnt leave the car, but the girl must have been starving to go thru garbage. It's crazy because this mom was in class with kids. She probably passed any screening sounding perfect..-mom who volunteers as teachers aide, great with kids, wants to foster - she was obviously doing it for money and not to help the girl. i am so glad that the couple nearby didnt sit back and they took notice of the girl, and went looking for her..God did that for this girl..I wish I could go get her and bring her home with me..this is sad just like the story of the girl who's stepmom and grandma made her run for 3 hours for lying about eating candy and she died of dehydration..
Brenda February 29, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Oh Lordy "john" missed this one. Well heck, actually no I dont like doing that to people, or picking them out of a group ya know? Or bringing notice to them, I guess cause I don't like that done to me. **BigBabyHere** LOL Have to use this moment to tell a short story. Last Saturday night my husband and I were coming home from Pechange, oh around 10pm north on Margarita. There was a little red car/black top, might or might not have been a convertible top and it was smashed into bushes and maybe the fence at the rear of a house on the West side at a 3-signal. Cannot remember the name of the intersection. But anyway, there was a policeman in a patrol car parked up on the curb/sidewalk and I told my husband, turn around, turn around so I can take a few pictures for the Patch, and ask the officer what happened, was everyone ok. etc. My husband said NO! You read it too much! I said, but honey you have medical training, maybe you can help if the fire dpt hasnt arrived yet, if it isnt already over. He said NO!. I said honey, just one picture for Peter! He said NO, and who in the H** is Peter?!??!?! Well, alas the accident was not in the paper the next day. My days of on the scene reporting never got off the ground.
bree July 22, 2012 at 07:27 PM
THAT MONSTER!!!!her daughter kyra was my best friend!i thought she moved and lost my number.but u were hurting her!HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO HER!?!?!she was my best friend!im sorry i didnt listen,Kyrah.i love you,,sister.i am so sorry
Brenda July 22, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Wonder what ever happened to the young girl and the foster mom? The only thing I wish you would try to do Patch is a continuing or closing of all the stories you do, like this one. Like how others in crashes have made it through which is always a tough story of rehab and strength. I always wonder what and how all these people are doing and if donations helped, or bike rides, anything the community has done to help a family of tragedy.

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