We're all scratching our heads trying to figure out what happened with Indiana toddler Hazel Richards. Apparently her grandmother, Melanie E. Weaver, took Hazel from her home in Indiana on a trip to Maine. Hazel's mother flew to Maine to retrieve her daughter -- but Melanie went missing with Hazel. And when the mother called to tell Melanie to return her daughter, the granny refused! Hazel's parents declared her "missing" on Wednesday and the police began searching for the fugitive grandma and toddler.
Police finally found the duo outside Boston last night. There's a lot that I just don't understand about this story. It doesn't help that every version I read seems to be a little bit different. But most of all, what kind of grandma would kidnap her own granddaughter? I can't imagine my mom doing this. Can you? Do you trust your kids with your parents?
I don't know if Melanie took Hazel from Indiana to Maine with the parents' permission, or if she just up and grabbed her granddaughter and flew the coop. Most of the sources I've read say the parents aren't pressing charges. But it's surprising that the grandmother would actually refuse to return her grandchild.
Was Melanie trying to "rescue" her grandchild from what she thought was a harmful environment? Or is she mentally ill? She's only 49, so it's very unlikely she was suffering from dementia.
Anyway, if Hazel's parents did let Melanie take their daughter on a trip out of state, that sounds reasonable enough. I wouldn't have done that with my son, but that's because when he was that young, we hated being separated from each other for very long. It's not because I don't trust my mom or my in-laws. Imagine your mother running off with your child and refusing to bring her back! You would never trust her with your kids ever again. You would probably question your judgment, leaving your child with your mother in the first place. Crazy. Anyway, however Melanie ended up running off with Hazel, I'm glad the little girl was found and is back with her parents.
Would you trust your parents to take your toddler on a cross-country trip?
Image via ms.akr/Flickr