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Missing grandma won't face criminal charges

A grandmother who disappeared with her three grandchildren earlier this week will not face criminal charges.

Barbara Cameron, 58, of Portland instead has been placed on a mental hold at Adventist Medical Center, said Sgt. Claudio Grandjean, Gresham Police spokesman.

After talking to the three children — ages 11, 6 and 2 — about what happened while they were with her between 3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 3, and 6:30 a.m. Monday, March 4, police determined her actions were a danger to herself and others.

“Getting her the mental health help she needs was the best course of action in this case, as it would not further justice to seek charges in this case,” Grandjean said.

Cameron became the focus of a regional search early Monday when Gresham police notified the media that she failed to bring the children home Sunday evening.

Their mother had dropped them off at Cameron’s house in Northeast Portland on Sunday afternoon to go church with their grandmother. When they failed to return that night, she notified police that the children were missing with their grandmother, who’d recently shown signs of mental illness.

At about 6:30 a.m. a citizen who heard about the case on the news spotted Cameron’s car near Northeast 141st Avenue and Sandy Boulevard and called 9-1-1. The motorist then followed the car and stayed on the phone with the 9-1-1 call taker until Portland police stopped the car with the grandmother and the children inside near Northeast 162nd Avenue and Glisan Street.

Everyone was safe, but the children — primarily the oldest one — reported that their grandmother would not let them go home.

While driving around, the woman refused to let them go to the bathroom and they soiled themselves. The woman also randomly stopped at green lights or in the middle of the road for no reason. When the children pointed this out to her, the woman said other motorists could just go around them.



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