Mother, Grandmother Charged Following Case Involving Missing One-Year-Old Child in Punxsutawey Borough

PUNXSUTAWNEY BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – A mother and grandmother are facing child endangerment and other charges following a case involving a missing one-year-old child in Punxsutawney Borough.

(Pictured above: Tarra M. Rand, left, and Cindy Ann Rand, right.)

Court documents indicate the Punxsutawney Borough Police Department filed criminal charges against 27-year-old Tarra M. Rand and 50-year-old Cindy Ann Rand, both of Punxsutawney, in Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock’s office.

According to a criminal complaint, Jefferson County Child Youth Services (CYS) workers contacted Punxsutawney Borough Police around 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday, January 31, for assistance at an apartment on Sycamore Street, in Punxsutawney Borough, Jefferson County.

The CYS workers advised they had a court order to remove a one-year-old child from the apartment, the complaint notes.

Punxsutawney Borough Police Officers responded to the apartment to assist. The CYS workers stated that when they made contact with Cindy Rand (grandmother of the child), they advised her they had a court order to remove the child from the apartment. CYS entered the apartment and saw the child and her mother, Tarra Rand, in the living room, the complaint states.

According to the complaint, Cindy Rand told CYS workers to leave, and that they were not going to take the child.

The CYS workers informed Cindy and Tarra they had a court order from the judge and they needed to come in and remove the child. Cindy then got irate and told them she will “kill anyone who tries to take the child from her,” the complaint indicates.

In fear for their safety, the two CYS workers went out to the parking lot and called for the police, the complaint notes.

The two workers stated that besides Cindy and the child, there were two other adults inside the apartment. Authorities contacted CYS who were provided a court order from Judge Foradora to “immediately gain access, by any means necessary” to the apartment on Sycamore Street and remove the child, the complaint states.

Punxsutawney Borough Police Officers, as well as members from PSP, made forceable entry into the apartment and found Cindy Rand locked in the bathroom. Officers also made forceable entry into a locked and barricaded bedroom and found the window unlocked and no one inside the bedroom, the complaint indicates.

The two unknown adults took the child out the side window of the apartment and fled, according to the complaint.

On January 31, authorities sent out a Missing and Endangered Person Advisory for the child (pictured below).

A Missing and Endangered Person Advisory sent out by PSP on January 31, 2023. The alert was later canceled when both individuals were found safely on Wednesday, February 1, 2023.

Police were informed by CYS workers that the defendant’s sister drove into the parking lot and drove away, the complaint states.

CYS provided the sister’s address at a residence on Beyer Avenue. Officers went to Beyer Avenue and were denied entry into the apartment by a known female. The known female agreed to let the housing authority personnel to enter the apartment and search for the child.

On Wednesday, February 1, at 8:10 a.m., police received information from a known individual that he picked up Tarra and her child yesterday around 4:00 p.m. The known male stated he saw Tarra and her child walking near East Mahoning Street, and stopped to see if they needed a ride. He stated Tarra asked him to take her to a residence on Starlite Road, off Old Route 36. The male stated he went to the location and saw Tarra and her child walk to the gray house at the end of the street on the right side, the complaint indicates.

Around 8:30 a.m., officers responded to the residence in an attempt to locate Tarra. An officer walked to the west side of the residence and saw small sneaker footprints on the steps to the basement door, the complaint notes.

An officer announced they were in possession of a court order for entry to the residence before all officers entered the basement door, the complaint states.

Officers then found Tarra and the child lying on the floor, the complaint indicates.

The child was removed by officers, and Tarra was taken into custody and transported to the Punxsutawney Police Department, the complaint notes.

Tarra told police she exited her apartment through the back door after CYS exited the building, the complaint states.

Tarra stated she was told by her friend that if she ever needed a place to stay, his basement will always be open, according to the complaint.

Cindy Rand was arraigned at 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday, January 31, on the following charges in front of District Judge David B. Inzana:

– Aggravated Assault – Fear of Imminent SBI designated individuals, Felony 2 (two counts)
– Terroristic Threats W/Intent To Terrorize Another, Misdemeanor 1 (two counts)
– Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense, Misdemeanor 1

Unable to post $100,000.00 monetary bail, she was lodged in the Jefferson County Jail.

At 11:28 a.m. on Wednesday, February 1, Tarra Rand was arraigned in front of Judge Mizerock on the following charges:

– Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense, Felony 2
– Interference W/Custody Of Children, Felony 3
– Disorderly Conduct Hazardous/Physical Off, Misdemeanor 3
– Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Misdemeanor 2
– Concealment Of Whereabouts Of Child, Felony 3

She was also placed in the Jefferson County Jail in lieu of a $50,000.00 bond.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled for Tuesday, February 7, with Judge Mizerock presiding. 

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