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Suspect, wanted since May, arrested on child endangerement charge
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A Great Bend woman who allegedly left a 5-year-old child in a vehicle as she fled from officers last May was arrested over the weekend.
Tonya Cope was booked into the county jail Saturday on a Barton County warrant for unlawful possession of a controlled substance and aggravated endangering of a child, with bond set at $10,000. However, she is also being held without bond on a warrant for possession with intent to distribute, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.
On May 20, Cope and Brandon Dannebohm allegedly ran from Barton County deputies, leaving a child behind in a truck that contained a loaded handgun and suspected drugs.
At the time, Sheriff Brian Bellendir said the deputies drove to a rural residence at 40 NE 20 Road around 10:50 p.m. that night, and although they were just giving another man a ride home, the sight of a patrol car pulling into the driveway startled the occupants of a truck parked outside. The deputies saw a man get out of the truck and run. Officers learned that a woman also fled from the truck.
More law enforcement officers were called in, including someone from juvenile services, Kansas Highway Patrol, Great Bend Police and more BCSO personnel. The suspects were identified as Dannebohm and Cope.
Dannebohm was arrested the morning of June 14, when he was found sleeping in a vehicle in Great Bend. At the time, Barton County Undersheriff Bruce Green said he was being held on a no-bond warrant from Stafford County, and that  Barton County charges were pending for aggravated endangerment of a child, abandonment of a child, possession of narcotics, and other charges. He remains in custody and at last report Dannebohm and his attorney were conducting plea negotiations with the Barton County Attorney’s Office.
Cope, who was reportedly wanted for felony contempt of court for violating conditions of her bond stemming from a drug investigation last year, remained at large.
Bellendir said a Great Bend police officer spotted Cope at the Cottonwood Grove RV park on North Main Street in Great Bend and arrested her.