By Patti Weaver

 

  (Stillwater, Okla.) — A former Stillwater daycare facility employee, identified as Savannah Noel Hawthorne, 22, of Enid, has been ordered held in the Payne County Jail on $100,000 bail pending her arraignment with an attorney on June 14 on felony charges of possessing and distributing child pornography on Sept. 1, 2020.
    If convicted of both counts, Hawthorne could be sentenced to as long as 30 years in prison and fined $45,000, according to the charge filed by Payne County Assistant District Attorney Erica Garuccio this week.
    “The Stillwater daycare facility Hawthorne was previously employed by has been notified and is fully cooperating with investigators. Parents and legal guardians of the children who were under the care of Hawthorne have been alerted,” Stillwater Police Lt. Terry Low said in a news release.
    “The possibility of harm to any children at the facility is being thoroughly investigated. Anyone with information regarding this suspect or her activities is asked to contact SPD Tipline (405) 742-8237,” the news release said.
    The case was filed after a lengthy and painstaking investigation by Stillwater Police Detective Stephanie Wheeler to identify the suspect, the news release noted.
    The Stillwater detective, who is a member of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, received a cyber tip on Nov. 2, 2021, from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children,” that indicated Twitter identified apparent child pornography on their network, the news release said.
    “Some of the information received from Twitter indicated the suspect had possession of child pornography and was actively soliciting buyers for distribution,” the news release alleged.
    The detective alleged in her affidavit, “I reviewed messages that were included in the chats from Twitter. The suspect provided the CashApp handle of … to another for payment of child sexual abuse material.”
    “The account came back to a ‘Savannah Noel Hawthorne,” who was then living in Stillwater in an apartment in the 1800 block of N. Boomer Road,” the detective alleged in her affidavit.
    “Hawthorne moved from Stillwater to Enid. On June 3, 2022, with the assistance of Enid Police Department and OSBI, Stillwater detectives served a search warrant at Hawthorne’s residence in Enid and seized a number of evidentiary items. Hawthorne was taken into custody under warrant and booked in the Payne County Jail,” the news release said.