Mother facing manslaughter, child neglect charges after son dies in Stayton house fire

Jessica Pearce in court on Monday. (KPTV image)

MARION COUNTY, OR (KPTV) – The mother of a young boy killed in a house fire in Stayton appeared in front of a Marion County judge Monday.

Jessica Pearce faces new charges of manslaughter and child neglect after being arrested in connection with the death of her son, 2-year-old Christopher.

“I still can’t put words on it,” said a neighbor, Shelby Polston. “When I found out that a child had passed, it literally had torn me to pieces.”

Polston used to live in the house where the fire started, but moved out and down the street before Pearce and her son moved in.

Polston claims Pearce was an irresponsible mother before the fire.

“I had never once saw her with her boy. She was never spending time with him. She was always gone, in and out of the house without him. Constantly leaving,” Polston told FOX 12.

Jessica Pearce’s father, Charlie Pearce Jr., says he’s always been close to his daughter and she would never hurt her son.

“That’s not Jessica. It’s not in her nature. It’s not in her vocabulary. It’s not her,” Pearce Jr. told FOX 12. “She has a very moral upbringing. Good Christian woman, deep faith. She has more love in her little finger than most people have in their whole body.”

Jessica Pearce has no prior criminal history. Right now, she is being held without bail. Her next court appearance is scheduled for next week.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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