Search intensifies for missing 7-week-old Memphis girl after mom ID'd as suspect
UNDATED: This photo provided by the Memphis Police Department shows 7-week-old Aniston Walker of Memphis, Tenn. (AP)
MEMPHIS, TENN. – Police have named as a suspect the mother of a 7-week-old girl who went missing from her home under suspicious circumstances in northeast Memphis.
Aniston Walker was reported missing Thursday morning, and ever since, police have been using cadaver dogs to search homes, backyards and a pond in the neighborhood where she lived with her mother and two siblings. Friday's search proved fruitless, and police were resuming the search on Saturday.
According to police, her mother, 33-year-old Andrea Walker, said she left the baby at home with her 3-year-old son while she took her 5-year-old son to school Thursday. When she returned, the baby was gone, but the 3-year-old was still in the house.
Walker said the doors were locked when she arrived at home and there was no sign of a break in, according to a police affidavit. She told police only two other people had the key, an affidavit from police said.
Police said Walker called the baby's father, who reported the infant missing. Police say they are not sure when someone other than the mother had last seen the baby.
After interviewing Walker, police charged her with neglect and abuse. She is jailed on $500,000 bond.
Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said she is a suspect in the disappearance.
"Realistically, 7-week-old kids don't mysteriously disappear without some circumstances behind it," Armstrong said. "If this was a teenage kid, if this was even a small child of school age, obviously our hopes would be high. But again, 7-week-old children do not have the means to just disappear."
Police spokeswoman Karen Rudolph said the two young sons were with relatives.
Police Sgt. J.K. Smith wrote in the affidavit that he observed Walker during several hours of questioning.
"Based on his experience and the age of the child that is missing, affiant has probable cause to believe the child has sustained seriously bodily injury," Smith wrote.