A nationwide search for a week-old infant that was reported missing, ended last Friday morning when a police officer discovered the abandoned newborn alive and well in a plastic storage crate behind a BP gas station. Federal prosecutors in Madison later charged the half-sister of the infant's mother with allegedly kidnapping the child.
According to court documents, the mother reported to police that her half-sister had been at her house earlier on Thursday, but had supposedly left to return to Colorado a couple of hours before the child went missing. When the mother awoke around 4:30 a.m., she found that the bassinet the child had been sleeping in was empty.
Police were able to call the woman on her cellphone, however, and asked her to stop her car until a police officer could reach her so that she could be questioned. Once the woman was located at a gas station off of Interstate 80 in West Branch, Iowa, she was arrested for an outstanding warrant in Texas and taken into custody. Although the woman initially denied knowing the whereabouts of the child, she allegedly later told investigators that she had taken the boy from his home and providing officers with a map to where she had left him.
Court documents state that a subsequent search of her vehicle and cellphone revealed that she allegedly had a prosthetic pregnancy belly in her car and had stated in texts and on Facebook that she was pregnant and that she had given birth on Feb. 5.
The woman remains in jail. She could face a life sentence if convicted.
Kidnapping is a serious federal crime that can have long-term consequences. An attorney specializing in federal crimes could help assist a defendant throughout the difficult legal process, including building as strong a criminal defense as possible.
Source: Wisconsin State Jouranl, "Woman charged in town of Beloit baby's kidnapping" Ryan J Foley, Todd Richmond, Feb. 08, 2014