Local News

Investigators find Hoke County sitter who left with child

Posted May 28, 2009 8:48 p.m. EDT
Updated May 29, 2009 12:24 p.m. EDT

— 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.