The mother of a Mississippi toddler abandoned at a Goodwill store earlier this week says that someone kidnapped her child.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, an unknown male walked the boy into a Goodwill store off of Stateline Road in Southaven around 10 a.m. on Monday. The man left the child, identified as Sergio, in the store and drove away.
According to police, the boy was unable to give his name, but the man left a note on a paper towel and told a store employee that the child’s mother could no longer care for him. The man also left a bag with food and clothes inside.
Authorities said that the child wasn’t dressed for the cold weather and had no socks on, but he seemed happy and playful.
Surveillance cameras by the store caught the following images of the boy with a man and woman, and a car they were traveling in.
AJC reports the that child’s mother, Antoinette Smith, said she didn’t take her son to the store and never planned on it. In an interview with activist Barbara Buress, Smith said that the man who had her son was an acquaintance she recently met in Tennessee. She claimed she left her son with a woman who she thought was the man’s sister.
Smith said she later learned that the woman with him was a girlfriend. The man allegedly asked the girlfriend to prostitute and when she refused, he left Sergio at a Goodwill store in Mississippi.
“If I knew that, I said I wouldn’t have left my baby like that. Ain’t no way I would have left my baby. That’s all I got with me.”
Smith added that she too was abandoned at a Nashville store when she refused to work for the man.
“He was like, ‘You better get out there and sell some a**,’ and all that type of stuff. I told him, ‘I’m not doing nothing,’ Smith said.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department in Memphis, Tennessee, arrested someone in connection with the case, although it’s unclear who was arrested or what the charges are.
Authorities confirmed that Sergio was handed over to Child Protective Services, where he remains.
Anyone with additional information about the incident is urged to contact authorities at 662-393-8652.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Here is our latest episode.
[Feature Photo via Southhaven PD]