Mother Charged in Toddler’s Drowning Death

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TIDIOUTE, Pa. – The mother of a 2-year-old girl who drowned in the Allegheny River in August was charged with endangering the welfare of children on Wednesday.

Pennsylvania State Police charged Patti Jo Vargason, 39, Valley View Lane, with two counts of endangering the welfare of children (F3) for the incident that occurred on Aug. 21 and resulted in the death of her daughter, Izzy Rae Peterson.

Troopers were notified at approximately 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, that Peterson was missing in the vicinity of Valley View Lane in Limestone Township. Peterson’s body was discovered in a debris pile approximately one mile downriver on Aug. 22

According to the criminal complaint filed Wednesday, Vargason told PSP that she last saw the victim at around ‘10:20-10:30’ a.m.

Vargason went on to say that the child was sleeping next to her bed and she could hear the other children playing downstairs. She went on to say that her son woke her up around 11 a.m. yelling that the child fell into the river, according to the criminal complaint.