0

Police search for missing teen mother, baby

The Jonesboro Police Department is seeking the public's help in a search for a 16-year-old mother, and her infant daughter, who allegedly fled a group home with a young man described as the teen's boyfriend.

Police said the boyfriend allegedly assaulted a group-home employee during the incident.

Tequez Miller, 17, is charged with kidnapping, interference with custody, and simple battery, for his alleged role in the incident, according to Jonesboro police.

The mother, who left the residence willingly, will be charged as well, police said. They did not give details as to her charges, Thursday, and her name could not be released, because she is a minor, authorities said.

Police were dispatched to a Jonesboro group home, Monday, after Miller, allegedly pushed Barberette Russell, a group-home employee, and stomped her in the stomach, and hip, numerous times, and fled with the mother and child, according to a Jonesboro Police Department incident report.

Jonesboro Police Lt. Victoria Wright added that the Clayton County Department of Family and Children Services (DFACS) has legal custody of the mother and infant, who resided at the Jonesboro group home.

"At some point during the evening, she [the mother] permitted her boyfriend entrance into the group home," said Jonesboro Police Chief Franklin Allen.

The group home only allows supervised visits, according to Lt.Wright. Allen and Wright explained that the suspect was confronted Russell, because he was not supposed to be in the home. They exchanged words, Miller reportedly grabbed the infant, with the mother, and ran out the front door, heading toward the back of the house.

"He kicked her in the abdomen to make his escape ... At which time, he fled the residence with the 1-month-old, and the 16-year-old," Allen said.

According to police, Russell was later taken to Southern Regional Hospital, in Riverdale. Allen confirmed that she did not suffer any major injuries.

"This is not considered a forceful abduction, because the 16-year-old went willingly," the police chief said.

Authorities added that if the mother had just left, it would have been considered a runaway case, but since she took the baby, and does not have custody of the child, this becomes a major issue.

"Lt. Wright, and other members of the Jonesboro Police Department, have been actively pursuing this investigation," Allen said. He added that family members of both parties are cooperating with authorities to locate the trio.

"They have friends, in the Flint River Road area," said Wright, adding that authorities have every reason to believe that the three are still in the area.

"We want the safe return of the 1-month-old and the 16-year-old-mother ... that is our first priority," Allen said.

Tequez Miller is described as a black male, 6 feet tall, weighing 185 pounds, with brown eyes, and has a tattoo on his neck. The mother is a black female, 5 feet, 4 inches tall, weighing 110 pounds.

The Jonesboro Police Department is asking anyone with information about the whereabouts of Miller, or the mother and child, to contact authorities, at (770) 478-7407.