An eleven-month-old baby girl was safely recovered by LAPD officers on Tuesday, March 9, after the infant had been kidnapped in Los Angeles. The suspect in her kidnapping was a 39-year-old homeless man, who was taken into custody by police as they were recovering the baby.
Baby Heather, was found near 52nd Street in Downtown Los Angeles, according to authorities. LA Police reported that two women were helping the man take care of the infant, thinking he was the father. The suspect, who has been identified as Delaneo Adams, allegedly kidnapped Heather from her home on Western Avenue around 6 PM on Sunday.
Police reported that Adams was known to the family, though he is not related to the baby in any way. Police confirmed that Adams didn’t break in and that the parents knew he was inside. “He is known to the parents. When one of the parents was out of the home and the other one was distracted, he took the baby,” detective Liliana Preciado told reporters.
Preciado also explained how the two women who briefly helped Adams came to be involved in the scenario. “It was late in the evening. The women were just in shock and trying to help somebody they thought was down on their luck,” she explained. Adams told the women he’d return for the baby the following day, informing them he planned to sleep on the street that night.
The following day, the two women who were caring for Heather saw TV reports of the kidnapped infant and contacted the police, fearing the baby they were caring for might be the missing child. Police quickly ascertained that the infant was, indeed, Heather and took Adams into custody when he returned.
The child’s parents were also taken into custody on charges of child endangerment for allowing Adams to be in their home while they were not directly tending to their baby. Heather was taken to a local hospital to be examined, though she initially appeared to be in perfectly fine health and unharmed.
It is unclear why, exactly, Adams took the child. He didn’t extort the parents for money, nor does he seem to have harmed her in any way. His decision to have a pair of women care for the infant while he was looking for somewhere to sleep also indicates that he was concerned for the infant’s well-being to some degree. In either event, Adams is currently in police custody and will likely stand trial for kidnapping.