New York -- New York police have detained a 20-year-old woman they say left a baby in a stroller on a subway platform Monday.
A witness told police she saw a woman, described as between 20 and 30 years old, push a stroller from a subway car onto the platform when the doors opened. The woman didn't get off the train, instead letting the doors slide closed and continuing on, according to the witness.
After waiting 20 minutes with the baby on the platform to see if the caretaker or mother would return for the child, the witness alerted police.
The 7-month-old girl is in stable condition at nearby St. Luke's Hospital. She was not malnourished, though she suffers from a bit of eczema, police said.
Early Tuesday morning, police announced they had detained a woman for questioning. They didn't release her name but said she was the baby's mother.
Trail of Tumult for Mother Charged With Abandoning Her Baby
|Frankea Dabbs, 20,|
Frankea Dabbs, 20, who was arrested on charges of child abandonment, at her arraignment on Tuesday night in Manhattan.
Frankea Dabbs arrived in California last year with a new baby and a promise to get her life in order. Back home in North Carolina, there were conflicts with family, and run-ins with the police. Drugs. Prostitution.
Her relatives hoped the troubled young woman would turn a corner. She had pledged to take care of the girl, Milani Love Edmonds, and to return to school.
Instead, her life descended further into turmoil.
A coast-to-coast journey ended Monday morning in New York City when, the authorities said, she pushed the 11-month-old girl in a red polka-dot stroller onto a Midtown subway platform, and returned to a northbound train without the infant. On Tuesday, the police arrested Ms. Dabbs, 20, on charges of child abandonment, a felony. She was arraigned on Tuesday night before Judge Abraham Clott in Lower Manhattan.
A prosecutor outlined how Ms. Dabbs had abandoned her daughter. “She was very vulnerable,” the prosecutor, Eun-Ha Kim, said of the baby, adding: “The defendant has shown no remorse.”
Kimberly Shubert, a court-appointed lawyer who spoke on Ms. Dabbs’s behalf, asked that she be released on her own recognizance.
Judge Clott ordered Ms. Dabbs held without bail. Then, looking at a television camera that had been set up near the bench, Ms. Dabbs asked, “Is that thing on?” and uttered a profanity regarding the rapper Jay Z before she was ushered from the room. Earlier, Ms. Dabbs had told investigators that she felt overwhelmed, the police said. And in an interview, her father, Franklin Dabbs, said she was troubled.
“She had problems and she had to make it on her own, prostituting and all that,” Mr. Dabbs said. “She’s been looking in the Bible, reading from the Bible. She’s deep into Revelations.”
The police surveillance video footage showed Ms. Dabbs on Monday just before noon, eyes concealed behind large sunglasses, baby in a stroller, and soon after, alone. The police released pictures of the child, and then the woman, asking for the public’s help in identifying both.
The infant was found by a woman who passed the stroller on the platform. After staying with the child for about 20 minutes, she called the authorities.
Hours later, just after midnight on Tuesday, a second good Samaritan saw Ms. Dabbs on Broadway near 72nd Street and, recognizing her from video, flagged down a police officer, the police said. She was taken into custody a short time later.
That Ms. Dabbs was in New York came as news to even her closest relatives. “I heard that she was in Tillery, North Carolina, then Virginia,” said Mr. Dabbs, who works at a food-processing plant. “Then when I looked on the news she was in New York, getting arrested.”
Before that, she had been living with an aunt in Southern California for several months. There were promises to return to school, but soon tensions boiled over. “I really could not put up with her, her attitude,” said the aunt, ShaRon Edmonds-Dent, 43, a tax preparer. “I tried to help her.”
She said she did not believe her niece had undergone any treatments for mental health issues. “You would think she had mental health issues with her actions,” she said. “But to be honest, Frankea is a regular, normal person.”
At one point, Ms. Dabbs returned to prostituting herself, sleeping in a public restroom with her baby, or in a dingy hotel, Ms. Edmonds-Dent said. When the police confronted her there, Ms. Edmonds-Dent said, Ms. Dabbs jumped out the hotel window, the baby in tow. She was arrested in April, for misdemeanor child endangerment, court records show.
Ms. Dabbs had been staying with relatives in North Carolina as recently as a week ago. Then she disappeared.
By the time she reached the city, Ms. Dabbs was effectively homeless. The police had no listed address for her; relatives said she did not have family in the city. It was not clear where she and Milani had been staying.
The Columbus Circle station, where Ms. Dabbs is accused of abandoning her baby, is one of the busiest stops in the city, hosting throngs of commuters and tourists because of its proximity to Central Park.
On Monday morning, Catherine Boursier, an actress from East 10th Street, was among the riders on the platform. When Ms. Dabbs exited the subway with the baby, she held the door for the young mother, she said in a telephone interview.
A short time later, she saw the same baby alone in her stroller. Ms. Boursier waited for the mother to return. And waited. Then she called the police.
Despite the ordeal, Milani was unharmed, the authorities said. She was in the custody of children’s services officials, who were seeking relatives who might provide care. Her relatives, for their part, were asking themselves similar questions.
“The whole thing is puzzling,” Ms. Edmonds-Dent said. “She has a huge family. Why would she take that route?”
(ALSO IN THE NEWS)
Queens mom allegedly kills 11-month-old son after ‘reaching breaking point’
|Nicole “Nikki” Kelly. The child, Kiam Felix, Jr|
Detectives say she told them that she killed her own baby boy because she had “reached her breaking point.”
Now, Nicole “Nikki” Kelly is in police custody charged with the second degree murder of her 11-month-old son, and the story surrounding his death is disturbing to people who knew him and his mother.
The child, Kiam Felix, Jr., was pronounced dead at Elmhurst Hospital on Sunday afternoon after Kelly, 22, brought him into the emergency room with the boy’s father, who does not live with them.
Instead, Kelly and her baby boy rented a room from another woman, who herself has a two year-old boy. “I really don’t want to talk about it,” the woman, who would not give her name, said Tuesday morning regarding her roommate’s arrest the day before.
She did describe the child who had been staying in her home until she saw him unconscious with his mother on Sunday afternoon. “He was a happy baby,” she told PIX11 News.
Indeed, in every photo of him on Facebook, little Kiam Felix looks sweet, kind and happy. Some of the photos are particularly disturbing based on information conveyed by Kelly’s housemate.
She said that she’d seen Kelly on Sunday afternoon with the body of her lifeless baby, just before the baby’s father had come over to take him and Kelly to the hospital. The baby was dressed in a completely white outfit — vest, collared shirt, necktie, pants and socks, identical to the wallpaper photos on Kelly’s Facebook page.
Below that photo banner, Kelly had posted, in part, after her son’s death, “Missing my baby boy so much wish there was some way I could bring him back to life I feel horrible knowing he passed away. Am [sic] his Mother. I was supposed to protect him.”
Police at the nearby 110th Precinct could not agree more. They arrested Kelly, and after questioning her, they reported to district attorney’s office investigators that the woman who has worked as a home health aide wrapped her baby so tightly in a bed sheet Sunday that he couldn’t breathe or move.
She left him alone on the bed for a half hour, while she showered. After he turned blue, Kelly called the boy’s father, who took them to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead early Sunday evening.
After she was taken into custody, according to the Queens District Attorney’s Office, she told investigators, “I reached my breaking point, I didn’t want him anymore.”
Two ironies are worth mentioning. It was Kelly’s 22nd birthday on Monday, the same day she was arrested for causing the death the day before. Also, she is currently undergoing a psychiatric evaluation at Elmhurst Hospital, the same facility to which she’d brought her son.
She is currently expected to make a first appearance before a judge on the murder charge on Wednesday. Kelly will be arraigned at her bedside at Elmhurst Hospital.
If she is found guilty, she faces a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not her's: her labour is in vain without fear;
Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.