Missing toddler Alouette Day-Moreno-Baltierra
Brace yourself: this story will boggle your mind. A 17-month-old California girl who allegedly vanished two months ago was found alive in Kentucky. Wonderful news, right? Yes. Except there's more to this tangled case than meets the eye.
The toddler, Alouette Day-Moreno-Baltierra, is not, as you'd expect, back safely in her mother's arms. Instead, she's with Child Protective Services. Why? Because her mom -- who reported the baby missing in October -- may be involved in her daughter's "disappearance," according to police.
And apparently so is a woman claiming to be her maternal grandmother, Maria Baltierra-Dejesus. Cops found the 62-year-old "suspicious woman" pushing the little girl in her stroller Thursday in a University of Kentucky parking lot. The child was reportedly wearing only light clothing and no shoes, hat, or mittens despite below-freezing weather.
But that's not even the worst of it ...
Alouette was suffering from the first signs of frostbite -- not surprising considering the ridiculous way she was dressed -- but it looks like she's going to be okay. Baltierra-Dejesus, who officers said gave them a fake name at first but eventually told them she was the child's grandmother, acted dodgy about what she was doing with the baby and why she was there.
She had Alouette's birth certificate, but there still seems to be doubt as to whether she is who she claims to be (though the latest reports say cops confirmed that she is the toddler's grandma). Baltierra-Dejesus, who is from New York, has been charged with child endangerment and custodial interference.
You'd think this poor baby's mom Dominique Baltierra would want to protect her daughter -- and maybe, in some twisted way, she does -- but she, too, may be caught up in this bizarre thing somehow. After filing the missing child report in October and saying she didn't know where her daughter and mother were, she tried to retract it a day later. It's not clear why. Was she afraid of her mother (if it is, in fact, her mother) or trying to cover for her? Did she want the child taken away from her because she couldn't handle her? Were the two after ransom money or attention?
Even more strange are details that Baltierra-Dejesus was being supported financially by her family while she was on the run with the baby and tried to flee to France or Holland.
It's anybody's guess right now what the deal is here, but hopefully the investigation will yield some solid answers. And hopefully, authorities will either reunite beautiful little Alouette with one or both of her parents if they aren't involved in her disappearance -- or find a loving home for her, one where she's taken good care of by people who truly want what's best for her.
What do you think is the real story here?
Image via University of Kentucky Police