Mother of Hornbeck toddler pleads guilty to child desertion

The mother of a Hornbeck toddler found dead in Beauregard Parish last year pleaded guilty to charges of child desertion and methamphetamine possession Friday in 30th Judicial District Court.

Sheriff Sam Craft said the charges against Vanessa Renteria Molina are the result of the ongoing investigation into the death of 2-year-old Willow Rain Renteria Molina.

Molina received probation for the drug charge and a deferred sentence for the child desertion charge.

Willow Molina was reported missing to Vernon Parish authorities by her mother at about 11 p.m. May 5, 2016. Vanessa Molina told investigators that when she returned home, the child and baby sitter Rodney “Donnie” Bailey Jr. were missing.

During the early-morning hours of May 6, Bailey was located in Beauregard Parish driving an SUV belonging to the child’s grandmother. He was charged with possession of drugs and a weapon found in the vehicle. The child’s body was found later that day in Beauregard Parish.

Her death was ruled a homicide, and officials said she died May 4, one day before she was reported missing.

Last month, Bailey was indicted on charges of obstruction of justice and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. A trial date has yet to be set.

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