Two-year-old boy was up to his neck in pond water when Kerri Cooper reached him

by: WASHIGTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - Rochelle HuegliWashington County Sheriff’s deputies say an alert dog may have saved the life of a two-year-old boy in Rock Creek Friday.

Yesterday an alert dog notified his owner that a small child was outside by himself and in danger. The child had escaped from his house and was neck-deep in water by the time the dog's owner got to him. The child's grandmother was later arrested for endangering the child.

On Friday at about 1:30 p.m., 23-year-old Kerri Cooper was in her apartment at the Rock Creek 185 apartment complex on 185th Avenue in Hillsboro. Her dog was looking out the window and barking uncharacteristically, according to deputies. Cooper went to the window and saw a small child walking by himself in the grass-covered courtyard.

Observing that the child was headed for a large pond in the middle of the courtyard and not seeing any other adults around, she went outside. By the time she got to the child he was neck-deep in the pond. She pulled him out and took him to the office while calling 911 to report the found child.

While deputies were responding, the grandmother of the child came to the office looking for the child.

Deputies contacted the grandmother, 58-year-old Rochelle Huegli, who lives in the complex. They learned that Huegli had been babysitting her grandson and had fallen asleep. They also determined that she had been consuming alcohol and was aware that the boy was able to open the door to the outside of the apartment. Huegli was arrested for Criminal Mistreatment I and Child Neglect II. The boy was turned over to his parents.

“There is no doubt that due to her attentive dog, and her quick actions, Ms. Cooper saved the life of the young boy,” said Sgt. Bob Ray of the sheriff’s office.

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