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National
Mom accused of killing toddler, trying to kill teen daughter
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Mom accused of killing toddler, trying to kill teen daughter

Mom accused of killing toddler, trying to kill teen daughter
Cannon Beach police have arrested Jessica Smith on an aggravated murder charge in connection with the death of her 2-year-old.

Mom accused of killing toddler, trying to kill teen daughter

An Oregon mother was arrested Sunday in connection with the slaying of her 2-year-old daughter, police said.

The mother, Jessica Smith, also is accused of trying to kill her 13-year-old daughter. The children were found last week at a Cannon Beach, Ore., motel.

Smith was arrested on an aggravated murder charge about 5:30 p.m.Sunday 15 miles east of Cannon Beach after her vehicle was spotted by a Coast Guard helicopter near a logging road, authorities said.

An arrest warrant was issued for Smith, 40, early Sunday. Police had been looking for the Goldendale, Washington, woman since the children were discovered Friday at the SurfSand Resort.

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The teenager suffered critical cuts and is now in stable condition. She is expected to survive.

Smith and her children checked into the resort Wednesday, and there was no sign of forced entry, Cannon Beach Police Chief Jason Schermerhorn said. The children's father has cooperated with investigators and has been ruled out as a suspect, the chief said. Multiple media reports citing court records say the couple had recently separated.

The public was asked to watch for a 2007 gold Chevrolet Suburban with the Washington license plate APX 3141, which Smith was believed to be driving.

More than a dozen people from around Cannon Beach gathered Saturday evening for a candlelight vigil for the 2-year-old girl. One of the women who helped organize the vigil said they wanted to support the teen who survived as well as the community.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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