In the United States, parental kidnapping is not as uncommon as some might think.

In this alarming Florida case, 7-month old Shannon Dedrick was allegedly kidnapped by her mother, Chrystina Lynn Mercer, along with accomplices Elizabeth and James Arthur Baker.  Susan Elizabeth Baker was the child’s babysitter.  Early reports are that the baby’s father, James Russell Dedrick, Jr. is not involved but the investigation continues.  The baby has been placed in protective custody after an examination that shows the baby to be in good health.

From the article:

A baby missing for five days was found alive and well under her baby sitter’s bed, and Florida authorities said Thursday they plan to charge the sitter, her husband and the child’s mother.

Just as alarming as this kidnapping is the revelation that Susan Elizabeth Baker was previously convicted in 1987 of assault & battery with intent to kill (her own 6-year old daughter).  Though sentenced to 10-years in prison, her sentence for such a vicious crime was suspended to a mere 80-days! Moreover, in 2000, Baker was questioned and charged, but never indicted, in the disappearance of her 3-year old child who vanished in 1987.  3-year old Paul Baker, has never been found.

From the article:

The child was never found, according to the Beaufort County, S.C., sheriff’s office. Susan Baker claimed the toddler disappeared while she was sleeping, according to the News Herald.

It’s simply astonishing to us that someone who attempted to kill one child and whose other child disappeared under mysterious circumstances would receive almost no jail time and get a suspended 80-day sentence.  It’s also no surprise that such a criminal, freed in such a way, would move on to commit more serious crimes again.

Regardless of whether or not society obtains answers to questions regarding these issues, young Paul Baker won’t benefit from it and who knows if infant, Shannon Dedrick, would have met a similar fate if not for the work of the Washington County police, sheriffs, and investigators.

Sheriff Bobby Haddock said, “Statistically speaking this should not have ever happened, that we found this child alive, especially after so many days. Time was against us.”

For the full article, click here: Missing Fla. Baby Found Alive Under Baby Sitter’s Bed