Local News

Mother trusts sitter will soon bring her baby home

Posted May 27, 2009 4:20 p.m. EDT
Updated May 27, 2009 9:35 p.m. EDT

— 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.

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.