Entries in Mom (20)


Mother Protects Kids From Alleged Carjacker: ‘He Messed With the Wrong Witch’ 

ABC News(BAYTOWN, Texas) -- A Texas mother's determination to keep her family out of danger drove her to battle an alleged carjacker until he fled from her minivan -- only to be struck by her vehicle as she tried to "stop him so he didn't hurt anybody else," the woman said.

While Dorothy Baker and her 2-year-old and 5-year-old sons were shopping Friday at a CVS in Baytown, Texas, a man identified as Ismael Martinez allegedly hid out in her unlocked van, police said.

When the family got back into the car, Baker said Martinez "popped up out of the backseat and said that if I didn't want my kids to get hurt, that I would do exactly what he said."

Martinez, 54, allegedly pulled a knife on Baker while she was driving and demanded she stop at an ATM for money, she said.

When she refused, Martinez allegedly became violent, she said.

Baker said she fought back, refusing to compromise the safety of her children.

"She's got a cut that goes across her chest, and she grabbed the knife and he bit her hand," Baker's husband, Charles Flugence said.

"I took my fist and I hit him in the face, and I told him to get out of my car," Baker said.

Baker intentionally drove her van into a telephone pole in hopes of sending Martinez through the front windshield, according to the Baytown Police Department crime report.

Police said she managed to dial 911 while she grappled with the suspect in hopes that a dispatcher might hear what was going on in the car and find a way to help, ABC station KTRK-TV in Houston reported.

"I thought, 'If you swerve and hit the pole, he's not wearing a seatbelt, he'll go through the windshield or at least hit his head, and you can stop him. You can do something to make sure that he doesn't hurt your kids,'" Baker told KTRK-TV. "That's all I was thinking of really, was just to get him away from my kids."

Police said Martinez eventually jumped out of the van and tried to flee. But before Baker knew it, she had run her car into him.

"I didn't mean to run him over," she said. "I was just trying to stop him so he didn't hurt anybody else."
Martinez was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston with serious injuries after the alleged attack. He is expected to face felony charges once he is discharged.

Meanwhile, Baytown residents have rallied around Baker's bravery.

"She was trying to protect herself and her kids. I would do the same thing," resident Joyce Sparks said.
But Baker said she is just glad her family is safe.

"You don't come after people with kids," she said. "I told him he messed with the wrong witch."



Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Runaway Mom Turned Herself in on Outstanding Warrant

Sondra Forrester and Brenda Heist are seen here in this undated photo. (Courtesy Sondra Forrester)(LITITZ, Pa.) -- Brenda Heist, the Pennsylvania mother who disappeared 11 years ago and reappeared in Florida last week, turned herself in on an outstanding warrant, authorities said.

Alachua County Sheriff's Office spokesman Art Forgey told ABC News that Heist, 53, originally of Lititz, Pa., walked into the Alachua County Jail in Gainsville, Fla., and turned herself in on a violation of probation warrant from another county in Florida just after 5:30 pm on Friday.

Heist was originally charged with forgery of a written instrument and for providing a false name to law enforcement. She was booked under her alias, Kelsie Lyanne Smith.

Smith will be transferred from the Alachua County Jail to the Santa Rosa County Jail, where the warrant is outstanding, Forgey said.

A man who answered the phone at the Alachua County Jail told ABC News that her bond has not been set and she would not be transferred until Monday at the earliest.

Heist disappeared in 2002 after dropping off her two kids at a Lititz, Pa., school. She went to a park where she cried over her the divorce she was going through, she has told police. She was discovered in this distraught state by three strangers and on a whim she decided to take off with them and hitchhike to Florida, where she lived homeless for several years.

"She decided to go with them on a whim," Lititz Borough Police Det. Schofield told ABC News. "She told me that it was two males and female. They drove to York, Pa., with her car, parked it and abandoned it, and met up with another group, who were traveling down to Florida. It was a community down there living together."

During her disappearance, her husband Lee Heist was left to raise their two kids, who were 8 and 12 at the time she went missing.

Lee Heist was financially hurt when his wife vanished. With no one to watch his young children, he had to quit his job in order to look after them. And with her disappearance, the family also lost out on her financial support. Brenda Heist had been a bookkeeper for a car dealership.

By law, Lee Heist was not able to declare his wife dead for seven years, which he did in a Lancaster County court on June 10, 2009. Afterwards he collected $100,000 on the insurance policy taken out on his wife, according to the Intelligencer Journal.

Now, her reappearance may mean that he will have to give the money back -- plus interest.

What happened to Heist since then and her reemergence to authorities April 26 is not clear.

When she turned herself in to the sheriff in Florida on the criminal warrant, she also showed police a Pennsylvania ID for Brenda Heist, and told them that she was wanted in Pennsylvania, Schofield said.

Police quickly figured out that she was the same woman whose 2002 disappearance led to an extensive investigation involving local, state and federal agencies. Heist's missing person case eventually went cold, only to be reopened in 2008.

Schofield said that when he met with her, her appearance was consistent with someone who had been living the homeless lifestyle, and she looked malnourished. She told him that she was at the end of her rope, and tired of running, he said.

Lee Heist, who was at one point a person of interest in her disappearance, is now remarried and living in Montgomery County, Pa.

The Heists' daughter is now a 19-year-old freshman at Montgomery County Community College, and their son, 23, recently graduated from West Chester University and is pursuing a law enforcement career.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sondra Forrester and Brenda Heist are seen here in this undated photo. Heist vanished from her life in Pennsylvania in 2002 and reemerged on April 26 in Florida. (Courtesy Sondra Forrester)


Missing Ohio Mom Never Returned from Vacation

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NAGS HEAD, N.C.) -- Police in North Carolina are searching for the body of an Ohio mom after her ex-boyfriend confessed to his brother that he strangled her during a vacation trip.

So far police have been unable to find any sign of Lynn Jackenheimer, 33, or her ex-boyfriend Nathan Summerfield.

Summerfield, 27, has been called a "person of interest" in Jackenheimer's disappearance.

The former couple spent the week vacationing in Nags Head, N.C., with their 3-year-old son and Jackenheimer's 13-year-old daughter.

On Sunday, Summerfield returned to Ohio and dropped the two children off with family, when he reportedly confessed to his brother that he killed his ex-girlfriend.

Police in Ohio, along with the Dare County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina, began coordinating an investigation and a search of the Nags Head area.

"I don't believe she is in Ashland County. I don't believe she ever came back from Nags Head," Carl Richert, a captain with the Ashland County Sheriff's Department, told ABC News' affiliate WVEC.

Summerfield was last seen on Sunday driving a silver Honda Civic. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ashland County Sheriff's Department at 419- 289-3911.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Conn. Mom Abuses 10-Month-Old on Video, Sends to Ex-Boyfriend

West Haven Police(WEST HAVEN, Conn.) -- A 20-year-old Connecticut mother is charged with assault, intentional cruelty, risk of injury to a child, and threatening, after she sent videos and text messages to her ex-boyfriend that depicted and described her abusing their 10-month-old daughter.

According to the police affidavit, Kellie Park, of West Haven, sent ex-boyfriend Erick Vece more than 50 text messages and seven videos on June 9 that show Park tormenting their daughter.

The videos sent to Vece show her daughter "berated, assaulted, and tormented by Kellie Park," according to the police affidavit.

The child "appears terrified and traumatized," and "appears to be crying in pain in some of the videos as a result [ of her mother's] actions," according to the police affidavit.

In one video, Park is seen kicking a gate on top of her child, causing the baby to fall beneath it. She said to the child, "Don't you get it, your father doesn't care, so guess what, I'm not gonna care," according to the police affidavit.

In another video, Park is seen pushing the baby with her feet, "telling the child she makes her life miserable and that she hates her," according to the police affidavit.

Park texted Vece "ill [expletive] break her face," and "call the cops im. Sending nice pictures haaha," telling him, "I love abusing this kid," according to the police affidavit.

Vece showed the videos to his father, Brendan Carlson, who called the West Haven Police Department.

Vece allowed Sgt. Martin Garcia of the West Haven Police's computer and technology lab to extract the videos and text messages from his phone. He told police it was common for Park to text him up to 50 to 100 times a day.

Sgt. Garcia said he was unable to comment on the messages or video sent to Vece. Vece told police that he and Park were living together until a few months ago, when he was arrested for a domestic dispute. Park subsequently issued a protective order against him, according to the police affidavit.

Vece could not be reached for comment at this time.

According to court documents, Park obtained a petition for family support against Vece in May.

According to the affidavit, police also met with Park's mother, Mary Correia, who informed them that Park was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, obsessive deviant disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, mood disorder, and is confrontational and violent. Correia also told police that Park suffered from postpartum depression after having her first child.

She could not be reached for comment at this time.

Police instructed Correia to bring Park to Yale New Haven Hospital for precautionary reasons. She was held in the psych ward overnight, but was released on June 10, according to the police affidavit.

Park was arrested on June 20. She is being held in York Correctional Institution in Niantic, Conn. Her bond was set at $50,000.

She is set to appear in Milford Superior Court on July 11.

Park's lawyer, Kenneth Bunker, could not be reached for comment at this time.

In the interim, the infant will be cared for by Correia, according to the police affidavit.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


5-Year-Old Gets Behind the Wheel To Search for Mom

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(MANSFIELD, Ohio) -- When Ameleah Kegly got off the school bus Monday afternoon, her mother was not there to pick her up.  The 5-year-old walked herself to the family’s home in Mansfield, Ohio, but mom Christina Hunter, 31, was not there either.

So the girl waited at home, alone.  Three hours later, when her mom had still not arrived, Ameleah took matters into her own hands. She grabbed the keys at about 7 p.m. and got behind the wheel of the family’s black SUV to search for her mom.

She turned the headlights on and put the key in the ignition but, failing to turn the ignition completely on, she rolled the car backward down the driveway and right into the neighbor’s yard.

Realizing the trouble she was in, Ameleah got out of the car and called 911.

“Um, my mom’s car backed out on accident and I need the police to pull my mom’s car back in,” she told the dispatcher.  “The car is staying on running now you got to get here quick, my mom is going to be pissed at me.”

Mansfield police officer Ryan Grimshaw arrived at the family’s home to find Ameleah unharmed, but scared.

“I just found a little girl standing in the doorway by herself on the phone,” he told the Mansfield News Journal.  “She was scared, but she opened up pretty quickly. She said she came home from school and no one was there. She said she had been playing with her two cats and that she was hungry, so I made her some pizza rolls and gave her a juice box. She was pretty happy about that.”

What Ameleah and Grimshaw didn’t know at the time was that the girl’s mother, Hunter, had been taken by ambulance to a local hospital earlier in the day for an undisclosed ailment.

Released from the hospital late Monday, Hunter told officials she had asked Ameleah’s father, Aaron Kegley, 26, to take care of their daughter after school. Kegley says he never received that message.

Mansfield police did not file charges against Hunter or Kegley, but the county’s Department of Children Services is looking into the incident.

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Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mom Drops Kids at Barnes & Noble During Errands, Now Faces Prison

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(DOTHAN, Ala.) -- An Alabama mother who dropped her two young children off at a Barnes & Noble while she ran errands in town now faces as much as six years in prison for child endangerment.

Charlene Sutherland, of Headland, Ala., was charged with six counts of misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child after leaving her son and daughter, 11 and 6 years old, at a Barnes & Noble in Dothan, Ala., in July. The police allege that Sutherland left the children there unattended for seven hours on three separate occasions, while Sutherland said she would occasionally let the children go there to read while she ran errands.

"My children were home for the summer, not going to school, and one of the things they love to do, they love to read," Sutherland said. "They tell me all about the how the store has a children's section and they can read the books and leave them there so I don't have to buy them, which, frankly, I couldn't afford to do."

Sutherland said her son, Eli, 11, is an avid reader, and she dropped him off a couple of times with his older brother, Nigel, 16, to read while she ran errands in town. On one occasion, the boys' little sister, Faith, 6, wanted to go.

"They go to day care every day, Faith and [youngest son] Noah, and on this particular day Nigel and Ely wanted to go to the bookstore and Faith accompanied them there, and this got blown totally out of proportion," Sutherland said. "Faith is like, she doesn't meet any strangers, so because of the personality Faith has, she might say hi to another girl, and make someone wonder, 'Where's her mom?'"

Sutherland said she dropped off the children at Barnes & Noble after lunch at around 1 p.m., and estimated that she was back to pick them up in about an hour. When she arrived, she found out the children had been taken by Department of Human Resources officials back to the family's home in Headland, she said.

The police, however, said that Sutherland dropped the kids off around 10 a.m. and picked them up between 5 and 6 p.m. at least three times over a two-week period, according to Dothan police Sgt. Rachel David.

Employees in the store said the children were well-behaved, but after the children were dropped off a third time they decided to call police.

"They're a family friendly business, but they are certainly not set up for the liabilities that a day care [center] would incur," David said.

A police investigator and an investigator from the juvenile investigative unit went to the store and spoke with employees, and then issued a warrant for Sutherland's arrest, David said. The 41-year-old mother was arrested at a roadblock when police ran her license and saw warrants for her arrest, according to David.

Because the crime is a misdemeanor it will go before municipal court, and the maximum penalty is a year for each count. The case will be heard on Oct. 12, Sutherland said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Kids Sue Mom for Being Bad Parent and Lose

File photo. (Comstock/Thinkstock)(COOK COUNTY, Ill.) -- Illinois mom Kimberly Garrity applauded a court ruling Monday that threw out a lawsuit by her two children who had sued her for allegedly being a bad mom.

"We are very pleased with the court's decision," said Shelley Smith, Garrity's attorney.

In court papers, Smith called the complaint a "litany of childish complaints and ingratitude."

Garrity, 55, battled her kids Steven Miner, 23, and Kathryn Miner, 20, for two years. The children sought $50,000 for emotional distress stemming from the damage of her supposed bad mothering.

The case was originally tossed by a Cook County circuit court, but the kids appealed. Last week, an Illinois appellate court also dismissed it.

Raised in a $1.5 million home by their father, the children alleged the Garrity was a lousy mom because she failed to send money for birthdays, called her daughter home early from homecoming, and threatened to call the police on her son, then 7, if he didn't buckle up in the car.

Steven also accused his mother of once smacking him on the head, saying that he still suffers from headaches. One of the exhibits in the case included a birthday card that Steven called "inappropriate" because it failed to include cash or a check.

When contacted by ABC News, Kathryn Miner said, "I have no comment."

In its ruling, the appellate court said that it found that none of Garrity's behavior could be ruled "extreme or outrageous."

"Such alleged actions are unpleasant and perhaps insensitive, and some would arguably fall outside the realm of 'good mothering,' but they are not so shocking as to form a basis for a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress," the court ruled.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Missing Utah Mom Susan Powell: Media Invited to Help Search 

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(ELY, Nev.) -- Police have invited the media to join them in searching near a Nevada town Friday for information about Susan Powell, a Utah woman who disappeared two years ago while her husband and sons were camping.

The West Valley, Utah, police that have led the investigation descended on Ely, Nev., Friday after receiving what they called "credible information" that directed them there. The town is over 200 miles southwest of West Valley, where Powell, 28 at the time, lived with her husband, Josh, and their two children, then aged 2 and 4 years old.

At a press conference Friday in Ely, West Valley police invited the media along for the search. Sgt. Mike Powell, who is not related to the missing woman, told reporters that while he wouldn't share information about the tip that led them there or answer questions from reporters, but he wanted to include the media on the search.

ABC News affiliate ABC4 in Salt Lake City is en route to a gravel pit near Ely with West Valley investigators. The search may also include open, abandoned mineshafts. Police did not say what they expect to find there or how long they expect the search to take. Sgt. Powell said they will search multiple areas.

Detectives have been conducting searches and the media will be joining on "follow-up" searches, Sgt. Powell said.

Josh Powell, 34, has maintained that he and his sons had been camping the night his wife disappeared, on Dec. 6, 2009, in the middle of a blizzard, and that Powell left on her own. He has described his wife to the Salt Lake City Tribune as "extremely unstable."

Josh Powell has since taken his kids to live with his father, Steven Powell, in Washington State.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Husband Arrested in Fatal Shooting of His Wife in New Jersey

WABC-TV/ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The husband of a young mother who was gunned down in New Jersey while the couple was walking with their young son this week has been charged with her murder, and authorities have also arrested a woman from Boston in the killing.

Kashif Pervaiz, 26, was charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the murder of his wife, Nazish Noorani, 27. U.S. marshals in Boston early Friday also arrested Antoinette Stephen, who has been charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and weapons charges, Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi said at a press conference Friday.

Stephen is believed to be the shooter.

The shooting occurred Tuesday night in Boonton, N.J., as the couple, with their 3-year-old in a stroller, walked on a quiet suburban street after a meal with Norrani's family to break the Ramadan fast. The child was unhurt.

Bianchi said Pervaiz,who was wounded when his wife was killed, gave an account of the shooting "that there was a white male, three black males...various conflicting accounts, who had yelled out racial epithets and called them 'terrorists.'"

But he said authorities determined that it was Pervaiz himself who was responsible "for the causing of the murder of his wife."

Bianchi said Pervaiz "allegedly did the unthinkable: plotting the murder of his wife after a religious celebration."

Stephen's name was on the mailbox at Pervaiz's apartment in Boston, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

She is being held on $5 million bail and Pervaiz is being held on $1 million bail, Bianchi said.

Noorani's funeral was to be held Friday at the Jam E-Masjid Islamic Center in Boonton. She and her husband lived in Boston recently, but she attended high school in Boonton, where her family lives.

A family member Thursday told ABC News affiliate WABC-TV that Noorani sent relatives a chilling text message about a month ago showing she feared for her life. It read: "He abuses me. I don't want him to scare the kids. If you should find me dead someday. ... It was Kashi. He wants to kill me."

Family members had earlier expressed doubts about Pervaiz's version of the shooting.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mother of Four Vanishes, Niece Receives Cryptic Text

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(WINDER, Ga.) -- Police are searching for a missing Winder, Ga., mother of four who left behind two clues: her locked car, and a cryptic text message sent to a relative.

Tonya Faye Lynn, 38, had reportedly fought with her husband Tuesday night, Winder Police spokesman Chris Cooper told ABC News.

Her husband, Jim Lynn, told police that when he woke up Wednesday morning he assumed his wife had already left for work at Athens Regional Medical Center. The health center's spokesman Mike Pilcher declined to comment.

Tonya Lynn's niece, Christa Royster, reported her aunt missing around noon on Wednesday. Early that morning she had received a text message from Tonya Lynn's phone.

"The message basically said, 'take care of my kids and I love you,'" Cooper told ABC News.

When the niece tried to call back, Cooper said, she couldn't get through.

She called Tonya Lynn's husband, police said, who told her he didn't know where she was. On Tuesday three of the couple's four children spent the night elsewhere. According to Tonya Lynn's father, Earl Royster, his 14-year-old grandson stayed at a neighbor's home, his other grandson, 13, stayed with an uncle, and his 11-year-old granddaughter was with her aunt. Tonya Lynn's 7-year-old was the only child at her home.

While driving Lynn's daughter to school, Christa Royster noticed Tonya Lynn's car -- a white Chevy Tahoe -- parked at a local library.

The car was locked and nothing was out of place, police said. Cooper said nothing in their investigation so far points to any suspects.

In May, Jim Lynn was arrested by Winder police and charged with battery, Cooper said. In addition, Tonya Lynn had contacted police about her husband's temporary protective order violations. 

Her father Earl Royster, 72, who lives in Auburn, Ga., told ABC News the couple had filed for divorce in June. Tonya Lynn stayed with her sister-in-law, but eventually took her husband back, he said. The couple reportedly slept in different beds.

Jim Lynn wasn't immediately available for comment.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact Winder police at 770-867-2156.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio