Sheriff's Department Seeks Help Locating Child Missing Since April 2011
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department says it has learned a baby has been missing for 11 months after his mother was arrested earlier this week.
Dwight Stallings, 22 months old, was born in May 2010 but has not been seen by family members since sometime in April 2011, the sheriff's department said.
Sheriff's detectives have been working with the Elk Grove Police Department and Child Protective Services, both of whom have had contact with the baby's mother, Tanisha Edwards.
Edwards is currently in custody at the Sacramento County Main Jail for a violation of her probation for being under the influence of a controlled substance. She was arrested at her mother's residence by the Elk Grove Police Department on Thursday after a CPS warrant was issued for her to produce the child and she was found to be under the influence, sheriff's Deputy Jason Ramos said.
The sheriff's department says Edwards has been unable to give investigators any information that can lead to the location of the boy.
"Unfortunately, Ms. Edwards' stories have been literally all over the map about what happened to the baby," Ramos said Saturday. "We just don't know which direction to go in."
CPS workers asked sheriff's deputies to accompany them on welfare checks of Edwards and her son four times from April to August of last year, but Edwards was never at her Florin Road apartment, Ramos said. CPS didn't make the sheriff's department aware that the child was actually missing and Edwards "wasn't on our radar" until her arrest on Thursday, Ramos said.
Ramos said Edwards' "transient" lifestyle makes it hard to pinpoint what could have happened to her son.
"We have nobody that can tell us they actually saw this child in 11 months," he said. "She was contacted by our deputies under a variety of different circumstances and in none of those contacts was this baby in her company."
Edwards' mother said she hopes the baby is with one of her daughter's friends. She said Tanisha hasn't told her either where the boy might be.
"I asked, but I didn't get no answers," said Barbara Edwards, who cares for two of Tanisha's other children. "He's a really good baby and I miss him very much. I just want him to come home."
Ramos said it's possible Edwards isn't being forthright with investigators because she wants to keep custody of Dwight once she's out of jail. He also said it's possible the the case could turn into a homicide investigation.
"Obviously, we hope it doesn't head that way," he said, "but it's possible down the road."
The sheriff's department is asking anyone with information regarding Dwight's whereabouts to call its Communications Center at (916) 874-5115.
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