Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fla. baby missing for 5 days found alive under bed

When I first read that headline I thought, "how does a baby end up under the bed and no one notices?" Then I realized it was deliberate. At least the people involved didn't kill the baby...that's usually what happens in these cases.
A baby missing for five days was found alive in a box under her baby sitter's bed, and authorities said Thursday they plan to charge the sitter, her husband and the child's mother.

Investigators who searched Susan Elizabeth Baker's home near this rural Panhandle town found 7-month-old Shannon Dedrick tucked under a bed surrounded by items meant to hide her, Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock said. The baby, who was taken to a hospital but appeared healthy, was placed in protective custody.

According to court documents, child welfare officials began looking into allegations Shannon was being abused less than two weeks after she was born.

In August, Susan Baker wrote a letter to Gov. Charlie Crist's office, pleading for help for the baby. She claimed Dedrick shook the baby and that he, Mercer and others smoked cigarettes and drugs in front of her. Baker also claimed Dedrick was not the child's father and said he claimed paternity to get welfare benefits.

Investigators frequently went to the infant's home from August to late September and reported that both parents used marijuana and kept a messy home. But they said Shannon seemed to be cared for and in September, a physician determined that she was healthy and expressed "no concerns regarding the baby."

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