Christiana Hagler

Mom handed over AMBER Alert baby to suspect after she was held for suspicion of shoplifting: Police

An Alabama man is behind bars and a woman is accused of handing her baby off to him after police located an infant girl safely on Sunday.

WKRG reports that Hailey Jordan, the mother of 7-week-old Christiana Hagler, was being held at the Burlington Coat Factory in Mobile on Saturday, on suspicion of shoplifting when she reportedly asked a man to watch over her daughter. According to police, they arrived at the store and decline to charge Jordan with shoplifting. Jordan then walked to the parking lot to retrieve her daughter, but she couldn’t find the man or her baby.

Subsequently, authorities put out an AMBER Alert on Christiana, but by the following day, located with baby safely, along with the man who took her, John Betancourt, 35. Betancourt was arrested and charged with interference of custody.

According to police, Jordan stated that she didn’t know Betancourt and picked him up along I-65 Service Road before going to Burlington Coat Factory. WKRG, however, reported that the pair actually did know each other prior to the incident and Betancourt was found on the mother’s “friends list” on Facebook. The news station also located photos on the mother’s Facebook page showing Betancourt holding a baby who appears to be Christiana.

However, Cpl. Laderrick DuBose with the Mobile Police Department said there is no other evidence that would link them together.

“There was no previous connection that we established, regardless of what all the ‘Facebook warriors’ stated. She picked him up on the side of the road that morning as she stated.”

According to FOX10, police found a black truck matching the description given by Jordan, parked in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Theodore, Alabama. They located the baby and Betancourt inside an apartment.

“They then went door-to-door knocking until they actually located the baby and also the suspect,” DuBose said.

The baby is currently in the care of the state.

DuBose said they aren’t charging Betancourt with kidnapping since Jordan reportedly handed the baby over to him.

“The baby was given to the person.  It wasn’t like he took her and left on his own accord. She was given, ‘hey here’s my child’. So basically he is interfering with the custody of the baby.”

The story is still developing. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

FOX10 News | WALA

[Feature Photo: Christiana Hagler/NCMEC]