missing baby in memphisA 9-month-old baby is missing in Memphis, but the reporting and response times have been ridiculously slow.

In what sounds like another Shaquan Duley/Susan Smith case, the mother of baby Lauryn says she gave the baby to a stranger who said she was a friend of the baby's father. Then Sharika Dickens waited for 10 days before reporting her baby missing.

When the police checked out the mother's story, they discovered the baby's father was in jail. So was this "friend" taking the baby to prison for the day?

Baby Lauryn doesn't seem to have even a fighting chance, since even after the the baby was reported missing, no Amber Alert was issued.

It's all sounding extremely suspicious.

So what in the world has to happen so a missing baby can receive the benefits of an Amber Alert?

Each state can create their own requirements for Amber Alerts in addition to the federal guidelines. However, the Department of Justice has five criteria that many states adopt, at a minimum:

  • Law enforcement must confirm that an abduction has taken place.
  • The child is at risk of serious injury or death.
  • There is sufficient descriptive information of child, captor, or captor's vehicle to issue an alert.
  • The child must be 17 years old or younger.
  • It is recommended that immediate entry of AMBER Alert data be entered in FBI's National Crime Information Center. Text information describing the circumstances surrounding the abduction of the child should be entered, and the case flagged as Child Abduction.

Since the mother described the captor, the child is under the age of 17, and any baby on her own is at risk of serious injury or death, it must be the first rule that's preventing the Memphis Police Department from issuing the alert.

The mother's story isn't checking out, so the police must be looking at this as a homicide, rather than an abduction. It's all horrifying, and sadly this story isn't receiving as much attention as other missing babies and toddlers have as of late.

Regardless, if you're in the Memphis area, please keep your eyes peeled for this baby girl, Lauryn Dickens.


Image via Eric__I_E/Flickr