Flint woman who put infant girls in suitcase ahead of CPS visit - WNEM TV 5

Woman who allegedly put infant girls in suitcase identified, charges filed

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM
Source: WNEM Source: WNEM
Katrina Childress Katrina Childress

Authorities say a Mid-Michigan woman was arrested after she allegedly put two infant girls in a suitcase and left them by the road like garbage.

The City of Flint Police Department was called about 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 18 to the 500 block of W. Pierson Road to help Child Protective Services.

At the scene, police said a woman, now identified by prosecutors as Katrina Childress, placed items to the curb as if it were trash and fled from the home on foot. She was caught after a brief foot chase with officers.

When officers returned, they entered the house to check on the welfare of the children and found two of them to be missing.

Officers searched the area and found two infant girls inside a suitcase at the curbside, officials said.

The baby girls were taken to Hurley Medical Center where they are listed in good condition.

Prosecutors have charged Childress with two counts of second-degree child abuse and two counts of unlawful imprisonment.

"It's sad. It really is. I don't know how she thought she would get away with that," said Terry Claiborne, neighbor.

Claiborne lives next to where police say the mom left the infants at the curb. She said she watched the entire dramatic scene unfold.

"The police were sitting right there while she did that. And they were there waiting on the children," Claiborne said.

While police and state workers were at the women's home for a welfare check, Claiborne said she saw the mother take a bunch of items outside.

"The last thing that she pulled out, she just threw on the ground. And she started running down the street. The police had to go get her and bring her back," Claiborne said.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said Childress, who has four children, has been in contact with child welfare workers in the past. He said the family was living in deplorable conditions.

"All we know about mom is that she has been on MDDHS's radar before and they were aware of her. At one point in the past she was put on medication for mental illness. It's our understanding that she went off her medication and started acting erratically," Leyton said.

The babies and their siblings were taken to Hurley Medical Center and are doing well.

Childress is getting a mental evaluation and could be facing years in prison.

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