The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
On 11-22-2022 at approximately 1:15 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a possible domestic violence incident that was reported to have occurred near a business located in the 45000 block of Main Street in Mendocino, California.
Deputies arrived and learned the involved parties had left the area on foot, with a small female child, headed toward the bluffs on the Mendocino Headlands. Deputies obtained a description of the involved parties and began checking the area.
Shortly after, Deputies located the four-year-old female child with a good samaritan behind the Mendocino Presbyterian Church. This good samaritan told Deputies that he was approached by an adult male and adult female, and they asked him to watch their child and they left the area.
Deputies located Flash Blanton and Amanda Dearth, who matched the description provided by witnesses, on the Mendocino Headlands State Park, behind the Presbyterian Church. Deputies determined that a domestic violence incident between them had not occurred; however, Deputies continued their investigation into the safety and welfare of the female child.
Deputies learned that Dearth was the mother of the female child, and she did not know where her child was presently located. Deputies determined that Dearth was intoxicated to the point that she could not exercise care for the safety of the female child.
Deputies also discovered Blanton was a sex offender who was out of compliance with his sex offender registration requirements.
Based on the results of the investigation, Blanton was arrested for 273A PC (Child Endangerment) and 290.011B PC (Failure to Register as a Transient Sex Offender); Dearth was arrested for 273A PC (Child Endangerment).
Social Workers from the Mendocino County Child Protective Services responded to the location and took protective custody of the female child.
Blanton and Dearth were booked into Mendocino County Jail where they both were to be held separately in lieu of $25,000 bail.