Local News

NYC subway mom witnessed unsolved local murder

Posted July 9
Updated July 10

Frankea Dabbs

— A woman who authorities say abandoned her baby in a New York City subway station was a witness to an unsolved murder in Sampson County nearly two years ago – something her family says might have led her to the crimes she's been accused of committing.

Frankea Aleasha Dabbs, 20, was arrested early Tuesday on charges of child abandonment and acting in a manner injurious to a child after authorities say she left the 10-month-old child, Milaney, in a stroller on a subway platform Monday and then boarded a train.

A New York Police Department spokesman said she told detectives she couldn't care for the baby because she is homeless and thought she was leaving her in a safe place.

Dabbs' father, Frankie Dabbs, says he believes his daughter's history drove her into a depression and caused the downward spiral that eventually led her to leaving her baby.

"I think it's because she had a tragic past. She saw her boyfriend get murdered – the baby's daddy – and I think it, maybe, escalated from there," Frankie Dabbs said. "She was holding all of that in."

Donald Jerome Harvey, 30, was killed at his Clinton home Nov. 6, 2012, when three masked men broke into the house and fatally shot him.

Authorities have yet to make any arrests in the case.

"She said she was under the bed hiding, and three guys came into the house and just took the baby's dad away," Frankie Dabbs said.

Sampson County sheriff's Capt. Eric Pope confirmed Wednesday that she was a witness to the crime.

"Anyone who would witness any type of violence, it always has an impact of some sort of another," Pope said.

But Frankea Dabbs initially told investigators her boyfriend was killed in California, where she, at one point, had reportedly been staying with an aunt who tried to help get her life back on track.

Frankea Dabbs, who at one point lived in Raleigh, has arrest histories in Wake County – for prostitution and breaking and entering – and in California.

In a report Tuesday, The New York Times cited the aunt, ShaRon Edmonds-Dent, as saying things did not work out and that, at one point, Frankea Dabbs returned to prostitution and would sleep with her baby in public restrooms or dingy hotels.

Frankie Dabbs said that most recently she had been staying with an aunt in Roanoke Rapids but that she took off last week without telling anyone.

The next thing he knew, he said, she had been arrested.

During an initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon, a New York prosecutor told a judge that Frankea Dabbs showed no remorse for what police say she did.

Reporting on the initial court appearance, WCBS-TV said she had to be calmed by her public defender after a profanity-laced outburst about rapper Jay-Z, whom she referred to by his legal name, Sean Corey Carter.

Frankea Dabbs, who was being held without bond because she's considered a flight risk, is expected to be back in court Friday.

Meanwhile, her father, still struggling to understand what happened, says he plans to try to get back the child, who has been placed in the care of New York's Administration for Child Services.

"This is heartbreaking for me," Frankie Dabbs said. "She was just a good mother. She was the sweetest mother."

24 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • zile1porkey Jul 10, 12:24 p.m.

    It appears that this girl has had some sort of break down anyone who witness a love one being murdered has got to have some depression she may be suffering from post natal depression as well I hope she gets some counseling and meds that will hope her cope you people always judge before you know the real facts we all know what she did was wrong but we don't know her mental state I wish both of them well.

  • elkerster Jul 10, 11:17 a.m.

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?! 24 months ago does not add up to the timeline!! 10 month old plus 9... View More

    — Posted by same ole story

    Pregnancy is close to 10 months so we are taking about 20 months ago. And they say almost two years ago not exactly two years. Then they reference 11/6/2012 which is guess what 20 months ago

  • elkerster Jul 10, 11:15 a.m.

    Itneverchanges, I think it is 20 months instead of 24. Aside from that we have someone that... View More

    — Posted by maybetoolatedixon2

    "
    If she was so sweet why didn't she stay with her father. " Because the father got killed, maybe you missed that part.

    Otherwise I pretty much agree with you.

  • Hippy_mom Jul 10, 11:10 a.m.

    Itneverchanges, I think it is 20 months instead of 24. Aside from that we have someone that... View More

    — Posted by maybetoolatedixon2

    We are all blind to the faults of those we love and this father is no exception. Plus, your reasoning is logical, but when a person is wrestling with depression or mental illness, their reasoning often is not.

  • maybetoolatedixon2 Jul 10, 10:28 a.m.

    Itneverchanges, I think it is 20 months instead of 24. Aside from that we have someone that lived in Raleigh and California with arrest histories for Prostitution and B&E. She also lived with her aunt in Roanoke Rapids but just took off last week without being responsible enough to tell anyone. She then is caught in New York leaving her baby in the subway. We read more and her father states she is good and the sweetest mother. The major problem here is that we make too many excuses, she was a terrible mother and to call her anything else is just plain blind. If she was so sweet why didn't she stay with her father. The child could have been given up for adoption but not just leave the baby as she did. We need to wake up and call it like it is. Sure she has been through a lot during her short 20 years of life but she needs to understand that if you make choices don't make excuses.

  • rindyelvis Jul 10, 10:16 a.m.

    Well no wonder she is scared, please ignore people like itneverhchanges, and get this lady some help.

  • PowderedToastMan Jul 10, 10:01 a.m.

    This women is the mom of the subway?

  • same ole story Jul 10, 9:50 a.m.

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?! 24 months ago does not add up to the timeline!! 10 month old plus 9 month pregnancy leaves 5 months for her to get impregnated by someone else only 5 months after this "so called" horrific witness to murder. Just another one who is putting the blame on something else rather than smack dab in the middle of her back!!!!!! YOU HAD THE CHILD YOU TAKE CARE OF THE CHILD!!!!!!

  • Lightfoot3 Jul 10, 9:18 a.m.

    "This poor woman needs guidance from someone who knows how to navigate social services" - LetsBeFair


    Perhaps she needs a job.

  • iopsyc Jul 10, 9:08 a.m.

    You know it is amazing to me that there are such harsh comments posted about this young lady.... View More

    — Posted by M@ma40

    You are mistaken. There was a WRAL article about that on June 30, and scores of comments as well. People do care, it's just that news comes and goes pretty quickly these days.

    http://www.wral.com/newborn-baby-found-buried-in-backyard-near-louisburg/13777254/

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