Horror: Police say toddler, 2, abandoned outside Mississippi Goodwill with a change of clothes

SOUTHAVEN, MS – Goodwill is known for taking donations from people in their community. However, one Mississippi Goodwill store received a donation which left them stunned.

Southaven Police Department announced that a two-year-old boy was left behind at the Southaven Goodwill donation center. The child, whom authorities have not identified publicly, was left at 9:50am Monday morning.

Horror: Police say toddler, 2, abandoned outside Mississippi Goodwill with a change of clothes

The abandoned toddler was left with a note and a change of clothes. There was a handwritten note on a paper towel which read: “child abandoned…no phone number for mom.”

A Goodwill employee told local news station WREG that the man approached him and said that the boy’s mother could no longer care for him and then left.

A spokesperson for Southaven Police Department initially said:

“A child was abandoned at the Goodwill drop off location at 57 Stateline Road East in Southaven.”

‘The suspect, a light-skinned black male wearing black jogging pants and a black cowboy hat, dropped the child off with a plastic bag containing a change of clothes and a note.”

‘The suspect then left the scene on foot. Responding officers but were unable to locate the suspect.”

“The male child is approximately two years old and is unable to give his name or the names of his parents or relatives.”

Southaven Police Department took to Facebook with the information, hoping that the community might be able to help solve this case.

Southaven Police Chief Macon Moore said in an SPD Facebook post:

“A bystander called the police to report that a man wearing black jogging pants and a black cowboy hat had dropped off a young boy at a Goodwill store and left.”

Nearby surveillance video captured images of both a male and female associated with the child and the red vehicle they were driving when the child was abandoned.

Officers included these photos on the social media post. Sadly, it also showed the little boy, who wasn’t wearing any socks or a warm coat.

The child was taken to the police station. Child Protective Services was contacted, and the child released into their care.

Soon after the information and video footage were released, police began receiving multiple tips from the community.

Authorities were able to track down one of the suspects involved. Nearly six hours later they arrested a person related to the incident. 

Police chief Moore later said a suspect was taken into custody at 3.30pm yesterday, but no suspect information or charges are being released.

In a Facebook post, Chief Moore said:

“We would like to thank all of the citizens who showed concern for the child. Rest assured he is well, and being taken care of and will be re-united with family when CPS determines this is proper.

“We would also like to thank all of the citizens who offered tips regarding the suspects in this case. The cooperation from the community and a unified effort from law enforcement led to the speedy apprehension of suspects.”

Moore said in a statement to CNN:

 “There are three different agencies currently working this case. There could potentially be other suspects involved in this case and it is still being investigated.”

Mississippi does have Safe Haven Laws, which a parent can voluntarily leave their newborn without consequence. The infant must be left within the first 72 hours after birth at a licensed hospital or adoption agency approved by DHS.

If a child exceeds that age and a parent feels unable to care for it, then, according to Mississippi law, they are required to contact DHS. Further steps will be determined by the agency.  This step ensures that a child isn’t left where it may be found and fall into the hands of a predator.

While this story could have had a much more tragic outcome, it’s important to remember that there are proper channels to get your child and yourself help. If you are feeling overwhelmed, please reach out to your local Department of Human Services. This will ensure that all involved receive the help needed.

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Police issue endangered child alert after man walks out of hospital with newborn in a backpack

10/31/2020

MONROE, LA – The Louisiana State Police issued A Level II Endangered/Missing child advisory regarding a newborn taken from a hospital without permission. 

The child was later located safe and returned to the hospital.

The incident started just after 11pm on October 22nd, the same day the baby was born.  Police believe that Travis Hargrove, a “possible father” of the child, placed him in a backpack, and walked out of St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe. 

State police reported that the newborn was born with a medical condition that requires care from a doctor, and it was not safe for him to leave. 

State police mobilized to locate the newborn and return him to the medical care he needs.  The boy was returned to the hospital by 11 am the following morning and was reported in good health. 

Police did not release any information on how the newborn was located or the status of Hargrove.  St. Francis Medical Center released a statement on the incident:

“On Thursday, October 22, a situation occurred that involved the abduction of a newborn.  The infant has been found, unharmed, and has been returned to the hospital.  In response to the incident, St. Francis Medical Center took immediate action and is fully cooperating with law enforcement.

“Appropriate security and safety measures were in place at the time of the incident.

“We believe that the safety and security of each patient is integral to the mission of our hospital.  We are appreciated of the swift actions of our law enforcement and team members and will continue to pray for all involved in this family incident.”

This case appears to be family-related, however, an August case out of Georgia may have had a completely different outcome. 

In Chamblee, Georgia, Leslie Barrera was walking with her one-year-old son in a stroller outside the family’s apartment.

Maynor Dario Valera-Zuniga and Kristin Valera-Zuniga approached Barrera and her son.  Maynor produced a firearm and ordered her to turn over her son. 

Barrera was not about to let her son go without a fight.  Barrera was able to take the gun away from Maynor during the physical fight and even tried to shoot him. However, the gun did not fire.

She also tore off a portion of Maynor’s shorts and somehow got his left shoe during the fight.  However, despite her best efforts, the couple drove off with her young child.

Barrera, bloodied and hurt, took off on foot chasing the vehicle until she could not anymore and contacted police.  Police and the FBI released a photograph of the shorts and shoe on media, hoping that someone could identify the items’ owner.

Thankfully, State Troopers located the kidnappers sixty miles away from the incident. With them, police found the young boy disguised as a girl but unharmed.  Police say they do not believe the kidnappers knew Barrera and think the kidnapping was just a random act.

The kidnappers allegedly told the police they had planned on raising the kidnapped boy as their own.  Police arrested the couple for kidnapping. Police charged Maynor with an additional charge of aggravated assault and battery. 

Mike Beller, the Assistant Police Chief for Chamblee, described Barrera’s fight to save her son:

“She fought them tooth and nail.  She took his gun and tried to shoot him with it.  She tore his shorts and kept his shoe.  She showed us a mother’s love in action and we are so proud of her.”

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Horror: Police arrest man for kidnapping of nine-year-old girl in broad daylight

October 7, 2020

PROVIDENCE, RI – Police arrested a 34-year-old man on October 6th for allegedly kidnapping a nine-year-old girl.

The disturbing abduction, which was reportedly caught on surveillance video, showed the suspect literally grabbing the girl on October 5th shortly after she got off her school bus.

The man arrested was identified as Luis Martinez-Romero, a 34-year-old male stemming from Cranston. Authorities have stated that there’s no sort of familiarity between the victim and the suspect now in custody.

Surveillance footage obtained by police showed a man whom they say is Martinez-Romero pulling his SUV up in front of the nine-year-old girl at around 3:00 p.m. on October 5th.

Police say that Martinez-Romero then exited the SUV, picked up the young girl and placed her into the back seat of the vehicle and drove off.

Roughly one hour after the victim was abducted, she was reportedly dropped off around the same area where she was originally abducted.

Martinez-Romero has been charged with kidnapping of a minor and second-degree sexual assault.

A statement from Providence Police commended the officers’ quick work on the case that led to an arrest within one day from the incident:

“This dangerous individual has been removed from the streets of our city due to the swift and vigilant work of our officers who worked tirelessly on this case.”

According to a statement from Providence Public Schools, bus drivers will only hold minor children on the bus if no parent is waiting at a bus stop for a child eight years of age or younger:

“If no adult is present at the time the bus arrives at the bus stop, the bus driver and bus monitor will keep the child on the bus and bring him/her to the bus yard where the parents may then pick up their child.”

Under the second-degree sexual assault charges levied against Martinez-Romero, he could be facing up to 15 years in prison. As for the kidnapping charge, that could carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

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Author: Lynn Vance

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