Local News

Mother trusts sitter will soon bring her baby home

Posted May 27, 2009

— The mother of a missing baby girl waits and hopes for the return of her child.

Victoria Purcell said she got a call Monday from the teen she trusted to watch her 9-month-old daughter.

Saniya Purcell Mother hopes for baby's return

Renesha Griner, 17, told Purcell she had taken 9-month-old Saniya to Georgia.

Purcell left her daughter with Griner for the weekend. On Sunday, she learned that the girl she trusted had skipped town.

"She told me she was in Georgia, and I was telling her that she needs to bring my baby home. She hung up the phone," Purcell said.

Investigators with the Hoke County Sheriff's Office said Griner took the baby on a Greyhound bus to Columbus, Ga.

Authorities did not issue an Amber Alert because they don't believe Saniya is in danger.

"Because the child was given to the suspect willingly," Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said the case did not qualify for an Amber Alert.

Griner did not have permission to take the child out of state, he said. “She wasn’t authorized to take this child. Whatever her motives were, were wrong,” he said.

"This kid is with this lady against her will, so this is a serious thing," he added.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and law officers in Georgia and Alabama are assisting in the search for the pair.

Peterkin said Griner is passing the child off as her own.

Purcell suspects she knows why.

"I was told she wants some boy back in Alabama," Purcell related. "(She) had the boy thinking she was pregnant. I guess she just got the boy thinking she (Saniya) was his."

“The investigation shows us that for some reason, the suspect believes – or is telling people – it’s her child,” Peterkin said. Griner is facing first-degree kidnapping charges when she is found.

Peterkin said investigators have been unable to reach her in Georgia.

Purcell hopes her trust in Griner is well founded and that her child will be returned soon.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Army Brat I Am May 28, 2009

    If she is going to be charged with kidnapping shouldn't the FBI be in on this now? And shouldn't there be an amber alert?

  • Ladybug1 May 28, 2009

    If they know where she is in Alabama, they should be able to find out who this "Boy" is and track her down. I know I'd be wanting my baby home.

  • YoucanthandletheTRUTH May 28, 2009

    "She wasnt a suspect when the women left her with the child, she was the babysitter."

    No one disputes this but why after the child was kidnapped was an Amber Alert not put out, as the 17 year old was the known suspect/kidnapper...if the woman did not give the 17 year old permission to take her baby to Georgia, then an Amber Alert should have been issued. The child was taken! Unless the mother knows something else...

  • sayitoutloud May 28, 2009

    "Because the child was given to the suspect willingly," Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said the case did not qualify for an Amber Alert.
    She wasnt a suspect when the women left her with the child, she was the babysitter.

  • YoucanthandletheTRUTH May 28, 2009

    What is wrong with this mother? She thinks the baby is okay (kidnapped) and will be returned (ticket was one way). This is all so strange! The mother is probably the one that said not to issue the Amber Alert because she thinks the child is safe...this should not be an option if a child is kidnapped! Something else must be going on! Maybe the 17 year old wanted a baby and the mother said, "'kidnap' mine. I will not press charges because I know she is okay." What is this?

  • Sessy V--V May 28, 2009

    " Purcell suspects she knows why "

    well the 17yr old mother apparently didnt use good judgement if she knew this babysitter had / has issues with pregnancy.

    Amber Alert SHOULD be out there.

  • FromClayton May 28, 2009

    issue an amber alert. a child is missing from their mother. doesnt matter how it happned. it is kidnapping! issue an amber alert and save the little girl. ohhhh i would be so mad if i was the mother!

  • 3potato4 May 27, 2009

    Quit arguing terminology and issue the Amber Alert already. I don't see how it can hurt and it may help. I hope she's returned safely to her mother.

  • familyfour May 27, 2009

    Okay...I am not going to say what she should or should not have done, but i can tell ya what I would or wouldn't have done.

    I would never have left my 9 month old with a 17 year old for a weekend. I will leave it at that.

    I truly hope her child is returned safely to her. 17 years olds are still considered children for a reason, and it mostly has to do with their (in)ability to reason and rationalize.

  • howdiditgettothis May 27, 2009

    I'm surprised no one thinks it's odd that the MOTHER LEFT the NINE month old infant for the weekend.

    What was so important that the MOTHER leave the child?

    Something's not adding up.