Man charged after children left alone in unheated RV during cold snap

Prosecutors charged Justin M. Becker with two counts of criminal mistreatment in the second degree.

A Camano Island man is accused of leaving two small children alone in an unheated RV in freezing temperatures for hours, according to court documents.

Prosecutors charged Justin M. Becker in Island County Superior Court Jan. 10 with two counts of criminal mistreatment in the second degree.

The Island County Sheriff’s Office was notified on Dec. 30, 2021 that Becker had left his 3-year-old and 8-year-old children alone all day in the RV while he was at work, according to a deputy’s report.

A couple stopped by to deliver gifts and discovered that the children were alone in the RV with no heat and no running water while temperatures outside were well below freezing, according to the report.

The younger child had a dirty diaper and severe diaper rash, the deputy wrote. The older child said he had tried to plug in a space heater to warm the RV but unplugged it after it started smoking and left a burn mark on the floor, the deputy wrote.

A woman told the deputy that she previously babysat the children but warned Becker a week prior that she couldn’t continue because she was pregnant. She provided him with information about free childcare provided by the government, but he refused “saying he doesn’t want government help,” the report states.

Deputies contacted Child Protective Services and case workers took custody of the children, the report states. A judge approved an order barring Becker from contacting the children.