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Woman whose young boys found on freeway faces felony charges

Thu., Nov. 1, 2012, midnight

The woman who allegedly abandoned her two young boys along the freeway Tuesday will face felony charges, authorities said Wednesday.

Shannon M. Germanton, also known as Shannon Duval, was taken into custody Tuesday night in Spokane Valley and is expected to be extradited to Kootenai County, where she faces charges of injury to a child, according to sheriff’s officials. Her sons, ages 6 and 3, had been left alone in the rain Tuesday at a construction area along Interstate 90 near the Beck Road interchange, where a worker found them at about 9 a.m. and called police.

The boys told officers their car had run out of gas and their mom had gone for help. But their mom never returned and officers later learned she’d been given a ride to a Post Falls gas station. They later received a tip she was in Spokane Valley.

Kootenai County spokesman Deputy Stu Miller said Germanton told detectives she has no recollection of leaving her children alone at the construction site.

Germanton reportedly has used multiple last names. Miller said she changed her name to Duval after she entered into a domestic partnership.

In 2005, Germanton married Erik V. Russell, who fathered one of her sons. He is now an inmate at Kootenai County Jail and has no rights to the children, according to court records and sheriff’s deputies. They divorced in 2007.

The other son was fathered by another man with the same lack of parental rights, but his identity is unknown at this time, Miller said.

The boys are expected to remain under the care of the state Department of Health and Welfare, with a judge determining their guardianship later.

As a repeat offender in Kootenai County, Germanton has 12 arrests under that last name and two more under the last name of Russell, with several charges on each arrest for possession of a controlled substance and paraphernalia.

She’s also been arrested in the past for contempt, a suspended license and petty theft.

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