Police arrest missing tot's mom; recovery to begin

AP News
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Posted: Dec 31, 2014 1:01 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Authorities Tuesday arrested the mother of a missing 14-month-old Maryland boy left on the front porch of a stranger's home in Columbus, and began a recovery effort because he may be dead.

Officers conducted a day-long search Tuesday near a creek with a dive team and helicopter after Dainesha Stevens admitted she and a male acquaintance left the boy, Cameron Beckford, because they could no longer care for him.

Sgt. Rich Weiner, a Columbus police spokesman, said the search took place in a remote area on the city's far east side. It is about 2 1/2 miles from the home where the mother said she left the child. Weiner said information obtained by police investigators caused the search to switch to a recovery effort. It is to resume on Wednesday.

Police said Stevens Monday reported Cameron's 6-year-old sister had been taken to an unknown location by a friend. While being questioned, investigators determined the toddler was missing. The girl, Cheyenne, later was found at a home on the city's west side and is in good condition, authorities said. She has been turned over to Franklin County Children Services.

Stevens was in custody late Tuesday charged with child endangerment and tampering with evidence. Police said she had legal custody of both children. The man, who police aren't identifying, was jailed on unrelated warrants.

A missing-child alert said Stevens abandoned her son Friday night. He was wearing a puffy black coat, gray pants, black and red boots and a gray elephant hat. Police say he's black with brown eyes and a Mohawk hairstyle.

Police in Frederick, Maryland, said the father of the two children called police on Sunday and reported that their mother had taken them to an unknown location in Columbus earlier this month. Based on the father's concerns, missing persons reports were issued.