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Raleigh woman accused of plotting to kidnap daughter from foster care

A North Carolina woman already charged with child abuse is accused of trying to persuade someone to abduct her daughter from her foster home and hide her in Florida until she turns 18.

Posted Updated

Adam Owens
, WRAL reporter
RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina woman charged last summer with child abuse tried to persuade a friend to abduct her daughter and hide the child in Florida last week, according to an arrest warrant.

Lindsey Michelle Smith, 38, and Russell Jay Smith, 47, were charged this summer with negligent child abuse inflicting serious physical injury and misdemeanor child abuse.

Warrants showed that they intentionally caused serious mental injury to their daughter when she was 11 years old by exposing her to extreme isolation, forcing her to stand for hours and failing to provide her with an education.

Investigators said the abuse lasted for two years.

An arrest warrant issued last week states that on Dec. 14, Lindsey Smith tried to persuade a woman to abduct her daughter from her Child Protective Services placement and hide her in Florida until the girl turned 18.

Lindsey Smith was charged with soliciting someone to commit a felony and felony obstruction of justice. She was ordered held without bail.

Lindsey Smith's mother, whose call to police triggered the child abuse charges in the summer, said she was heartsick to learn about the latest allegation.

"I'm still in a state of shock, and I am still emotional about it at this time," Tammy McKinney told WRAL News in a phone interview.

"You know, I have awaken to the fact that my daughter, she is going to prison and probably for a very long time and for a very good reason."

McKinney, who lives in Dallas, called police in June after seeing a photo of one of her grandchildren child with a black eye.

"It's not the first phone call I've made," she said at the time. "There have been years that I have tried to do things. A grandmother in Texas has no rights. No one would listen."

According to McKinney, the child Smith is accused of trying to abduct will turn 18 in February and will be free to leave foster care.

Police and Child Protective Services got involved with the couple, who has a blended family that includes five children.

McKinney said she is estranged from her daughter but maintains contact with her grandchildren.

"Within two years of them marrying, I was cut out of their lives completely," she said.

Lindsey Smith is currently being held in the Wake County Justice Center and Russell Smith was out of jail, but both are due in court again next month.

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