SOUTH BEND — An initial hearing for a South Bend mother arrested after her missing child was found in Elkhart last weekend was postponed Tuesday to allow prosecutors more time to review her case.
On Tuesday, Feb. 18, a judge found there was probable cause to support the arrest of 31-year-old Heather Gipperich on preliminary charges of neglect of a dependent, which is a felony, and taking a child to a nuisance, a misdemeanor, according to a probable cause affidavit from the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office.
The child, 9-month-old Bethany Ann Gipperich, was reported missing by Gipperich's mother on Saturday, Feb. 15.
When Heather Gipperich returned to her mother's home Sunday afternoon, South Bend police say that she seemed to be "out of it" and was experiencing serious personal issues.
Gipperich told police that she took her daughter with her when she went to a home in St. Joseph County to buy heroin and use it, which she did. The affidavit states that she left Bethany Ann with a woman named Amanda, whom Gipperich met for the first time at the home where she purchased the heroin.
The South Bend and Elkhart police departments worked together to locate the infant Sunday evening. The child was found at Amanda's home in Elkhart by Elkhart police and was in good health.
The judge also granted a 72-hour extension on Gipperich's initial hearing to allow prosecutors more time to review the case and determine formal charges, according to the release.
The judge also issued a no-contact order for Gipperich's daughter, who was taken into the custody of the Indiana Department of Child Services Sunday.
Gipperich's bond was set at $10,000 corporate surety or $1,000 cash. Gipperich remained in the custody of the St.Joseph County Jail Tuesday afternoon. Her initial hearing scheduled for Friday, Feb. 21.
Petition and PC Affidavit for Heather Gipperich