A 60-year-old woman has been arrested in the alleged child kidnapping of a baby, which reportedly happened 13 years ago. The child, now a teenager, caught the attention of a school official in Livingston County, Missouri, who suspected that the teen was with a woman who was not really his or her mother. Officials have not released the teen's name or gender. The woman, Sandy Hatte, had been living with the teen in that area only for 30 days, but had lived in many other places before that. The child was allegedly kidnapped in Florida.
The teen has now been reunited with his or her father, who reportedly came home from work one day 13 years ago to find his child missing. A detective on the case, Detective Eric Menconi, told ABC News:
It was a good reunion. You could tell within the first three minutes they hit it off pretty well. Since then, I've been on the phone with the dad and from what I'm understanding, it's going pretty well.
From what Menconi also said, it sounds like perhaps Hatte was in charge of the baby at the time of the abduction. He says:
The dad was working, came home from work, and [Hatte] was gone with the baby.
Police say that Hatte is related to the teen, but won't say how to protect the teen and his or her family.
It's definitely awesome news that the teen has been found -- and reunited with his or her dad. But imagine missing all of those years! Still, it is the best outcome that can happen when a child has been gone for this long.
Also kudos to the school official who paid attention to something that was happening, some kind of clue that this wasn't the teen's parent, or even just a gut feeling, and did something about it.
What do you think about this?
Image via Livingston County Sheriff's Office