US

Mother of Baby That Was Allegedly Kidnapped Is Arrested, Charged With Attempted Murder

By Zachary Stieber

A North Carolina mother has been arrested and charged with attempted murder one day after she claimed her 7-week-old baby was kidnapped.

Krista Madden, 35, was arrested early May 10 and was due in court later on Friday, reported Fox Carolina.

The Asheville Police had sent out an alert on May 9 about the child, Shaylie, saying the baby was kidnapped by a male and female in ski masks. The suspects fled with the baby in a 2014 Mazda CX-5, police said.

In an update late Thursday, the department said that Shaylie “was safely located.”

Shaylie Madden, 7 weeks old, was found safe four hours after being reported kidnapped in Asheville, North Carolina, on May 9, 2019. (Asheville Police Department)

“The incident is under further investigation at this time. We appreciate the assistance of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the public and the media for assisting us in getting his information out quickly,” it said.

According to Fox, the baby was found more than 20 miles from where she was allegedly abducted.

Police said Madden told officers she was able to escape from the kidnappers but that they took off with her car and baby.

Henderson County Sheriff Lowell Griffin said at a press conference on Friday morning that Madden tossed the baby down a ravine about 50 to 75 feet, reported WLOS.

Sheriff Griffin said that the baby was found with a car seat at the bottom of a ravine, no longer in the car seat. A man and his wife found the baby after hearing her crying.

Madden was being held in the Henderson County Jail on a $750,000 bond.

police car siren
A police car in a file photo. (Mira Oberman/AFP/Getty Images)

Study

According to a study from Brown University published in 2014, instances of filicide, or the killing of one’s child or children, occurs about 500 times every year.

A father killing a son was the most common filicide scenario, followed by a mother killing a son, a mother killing a daughter, and a father killing a daughter.

Lead author Dr. Timothy Mariano, a third-year psychiatry resident in the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, said the three underlying motives appear to be mental illness, high levels of testosterone, and parents, particularly young mothers, feeling they’re unable to provide care for their children.

The authors said neither the statistics nor the hypotheses can definitively explain filicide.

FBI
American flags fly outside the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) headquarters in Washington, on Jan. 22, 2019. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Kidnapping

The number of reported missing children significantly decreased in recent years, according to a report by the Department of Justice (pdf) in 2017. Reported missing children dropped from 6.5 per 1,000 children in 1999 to 3.1 per 1,000 in 2013. Missing children typically fall into five categories: kidnapped by a family member, abducted by a nonfamily perpetrator, runaways, those who got lost, stranded, or injured, or those who went missing due to benign reasons, such as misunderstandings, according to the report.

Department of Justice researchers said in a separate report (pdf) published in 2016 that there were an estimated 105 children nationwide that were victims of stereotypical kidnappings, a number that was virtually the same as 1997.

“Most kidnappings involved the use of force or threats, and about three in five victims were sexually assaulted, abused, or exploited, the researchers said.

Stereotypical kidnappings are defined as abductions in which a slight acquaintance or stranger moves a child at least 20 feet or holds the child at least 1 hour. Most victims were girls aged 12 to 17 and most perpetrators were men aged 18 to 35.

According to the Polly Klaas Foundation, approximately 200,000 children are kidnapped each year by a family member.

Child custody experts say that people kidnap their own children to force a reconciliation or continued interaction with the other, left-behind parent; to spite or punish the other parent; from fear of losing custody or visitation rights.

In rare cases, the kidnapping may occur to protect a child from a parent who is believed to be abusing the child. Common warnings signs include the other parent threatening abduction, suspected abuse, or paranoid delusion.