National News

Meriden police continue search for missing mom, newborn

Posted July 25

— Police in Meriden are asking for the public's help locating a 1-week-old baby and her mother after a Silver Alert was issued on Monday.

Esperanza Lopez was born on July 16. She was last seen with her mother, 23-year-old Ashley Correra-Graham. Police said they were reported missing on Monday.

Police said they were contacted by the Department of Children and Families about Esperanza and Correra-Graham.

"Many checks and balances take place when the Department makes an assessment that a child must be removed due to immediate danger to the child's safety. The authority to remove a child stems from an independent order from a juvenile court judge. All the parties are represented in court by counsel, and the Attorney General's Office, which represents the Department in court, will not bring an action unless sufficient evidence exists to warrant the court order. The Department works hard to prevent placing children in foster care, but there are circumstances that require it to protect a child and keep him or her safe," DCF said in a statement on Tuesday.

Police said they are Just trying to confirm the safety of Esperanza. Police are asking Correra-Graham to bring the child to a local law enforcement or DCF to evaluate her condition.

"It is based on the collective collaboration between agencies and discerning you know there might be a reason for us to have a concern," Meriden Police Sgt. Christopher Fry said.

Police said there is no arrest warrant for Correra-Graham.

"There is certainly enough concern that we've taken this issue seriously to issue a Silver Alert, which is many of you know to locate and evaluate the well-being of the child," Fry said.

The mother also goes by the name of Ashley Rivera. And while police have been unable to physically locate her. She has not remained silent on Facebook in a series of posts.

"I'm the mother of this baby. Me and my beautiful daughter are safe and sound. DCF did this because they are trying to violate my rights as a parent. They are trying to take my poor baby with no case open."

Rivera goes on to say.

"I am a good mother. I have 4 children, now 5. I have been fighting for my children. They took my other 4 children. I have no history of abuse towards my babies. I have no drug abuse history. Nothing."

For its part, DCF said due to privacy laws they cannot discuss details about the Correra-Graham but did release a statement.

"Many checks and balances take place when the Department makes an assessment that a child must be removed due to immediate danger to the child's safety. The authority to remove a child stems from an independent order from a juvenile court judge. All the parties are represented in court by counsel, and the Attorney General's Office, which represents the Department in court, will not bring an action unless sufficient evidence exists to warrant the court order. The Department works hard to prevent placing children in foster care, but there are circumstances that require it to protect a child and keep him or her safe," DCF said in a statement on Tuesday.

Police have been seeking out the people Correra-Graham associates with, but have had no luck finding her. They are now hoping the public may notice a young woman matching her description with such a tiny newborn and contact police.

Anyone with information should call the Meriden Police Department at 203-238-1911.

The story is still developing and more information will be provided once it becomes available.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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