Local News

Investigators find Hoke County sitter who left with child

Posted May 28, 2009
Updated May 29, 2009

— A Raeford teen who ran away from home last week with an infant she was babysitting was found safe with the baby in Opp, Ala., Thursday evening, according to the Hoke County Sheriff's Office.

Renesha Shante Griner, 17, took 9-month-old Saniya Jaynelle Purcell out of state Saturday without permission, Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said.

Investigators found Griner and Saniya, both of whom were unharmed, Peterkin said.

Griner had convinced her 20-year-old ex-boyfriend that the infant was his baby, Peterkin said. Saniya had been taken in by the ex-boyfriend’s family, and it appeared that Griner had no intentions of returning to Raeford, investigators said.

Investigators in Opp got a tip that Griner was trying “to orchestrate something with her ex-boyfriend" and went to the man's house. Griner was at the ex-boyfriend’s house when police stopped by, but Saniya was with the man's mother, Peterkin said.

His family had already started making preparations for the baby, according to investigators.

Griner was in the custody of the Opp Police Department Thursday evening and was expected to be extradited to Hoke County soon. Peterkin said he was making travel arrangements for the child to be returned to her mother in Raeford.

Griner will be charged with first-degree kidnapping, Peterkin said.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and law officers in Georgia and Alabama assisted in the search. An Amber Alert was not issued in the case because Purcell was not believed to be in danger, investigators said.


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  • YoucanthandletheTRUTH May 29, 2009

    Why should a twenty year old have a child in the first place?!
    ambidextrous cat

    Um....I hope you are being sarcastic? I teach high school and just this semester (since January), I have had three pregnant girls in my classes. Last semester, I had one! Teaching 4 pregnant girls in one year (all 17 years old or younger) is outrageous! 3 had their babies and 1 has a miscarriage! The point is that maybe you think a 20 year old shouldn't have a baby but plenty of them and younger do! It doesn't make it right, but until parents start doing their jobs, this will continue...Apparently, sex is not a big deal...

  • BlueSkys May 29, 2009

    this is just messed up ! my heart goes out to the mom,hope Social services keeps a close eye on the baby.The mom needs all the resources and help she can get.Glad the baby was not harmed.

  • mocena May 29, 2009

    "Why should a twenty year old have a child in the first place?!"-
    When a man and woman love each other very much...

  • shortcake53 May 29, 2009

    The cruelty of this 17 yr old disgusts me. She had a family believing they were welcoming a new baby to the family, while tearing out a mothers heart at this end not knowing how or where her baby was. She sounds like the women on the news who literally cut babies out of new mothers and steal them, scary girl. She needs locked up and NOW.

  • ShareTheRoad May 29, 2009

    wowee. im just floored. this girl has got some nerve, eh? nice way to ruin her life. i hope they throw the book at her. kudos to the ex boyfriend and his family tho, for being standup folks in the situation, offering to take her and the baby in. i cant imagine how they all must feel after finding out the truth. wow...

  • ambidextrous cat May 29, 2009

    Why should a twenty year old have a child in the first place?!

  • kikinc May 29, 2009

    mochabrown-Why punish the ex-boyfriend's family? Some chick shows up on their doorstep with an infant telling them that it's their family. They didn't have to start preparing for the baby, they just did. Some families would've turned their back to them. They had no idea that the baby was kidnapped. The only one to blame is the 17 year old. Definitely pathetic. Babies aren't bargaining chips. They're human beings.

  • kbo80 May 29, 2009

    I am very glad that the baby is safe but, if an Amber Alert was issued then this ex-boyfriend and his family would have known that this was not his child. But, because the authorities decided not to issue an alert for whatever reason this child was about to be the child of someone else. No MOCHABROWN the guy and his family should not be punished, they only knew what this girl with low self-esteem told him. It is good to know that he is willing to take care of a child if it were his.

  • wakemom May 29, 2009

    Oh trust me, this baby was in danger. When the babysitter refused to bring the baby back home (kidnapping) that put that child in danger. The ex boyfriend and the family making plans, get them all.

    um lost why get the boyfriend and his family too? they didnt do anything wrong.

  • Canon36 May 29, 2009

    I am glad they caught the woman. She definately needs to do time with some srious counseling. That is not normal. I would not want to take someone elses child. Especially when my child is grown. Please no more. Speaking on a guys point of view. A guy will not stay with a woman just for the baby. If they do, it usually does not work out.