Mom, step mom arrested after newborn taken and returned to hospital

Amber Trammell (Dunklin County Sheriff's Office)
Amber Trammell (Dunklin County Sheriff's Office)
Laura Stone (Dunklin County Sheriff's Office)
Laura Stone (Dunklin County Sheriff's Office)
Melissa Howard (Greene County Sheriff's Office)
Melissa Howard (Greene County Sheriff's Office)

KENNETT, MO (KAIT) – More witnesses are coming forward in the case involving a newborn being taken from a Kennett hospital Wednesday morning and later returned.

Lt. Tim Trowbridge with the Kennett Police Department said these witnesses were present at the hospital when the baby was taken by his mother, his mother's stepmother, and a friend.

Police have arrested these three women.

According to Kennett police, Amber Trammell, 28, and Laura Stone, 47, of Paragould were arrested Wednesday morning. Stone is the stepmother of Trammell. Both are facing charges of child endangerment.

Paragould police told Region 8 News, the third suspect , Melissa Howard, 49, also of Paragould was arrested Wednesday afternoon. She is being held at the Greene County Jail, waiting extradition to Dunklin County. She has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Bond was set at $25,000 cash only.

According Lt. Trowbridge, the baby was taken around 4 a.m. Wednesday from the Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center. The baby was born around 2:30 a.m.

Police say the mother, Trammell, is accused of facilitating the abduction with the help of Stone and Howard. Police say someone held the security doors of the OB unit open preventing the security device on the baby's ankle from activating the door lock.

Officers searched for the child and made contact with Stone over a cell phone. She returned the newborn around 7:30 a.m.

Stone was arrested when she brought the baby back. Trammell was arrested after being released from the hospital around 9 a.m.

Police are currently working on contacting the newborn's biological father.

"We think we know who he is. At this time, investigators have not been able to make contact with him. Again, investigators are planning to go to Paragould to follow up on some things, but at this time, we've not made contact with him," Lt. Trowbridge said.

While in Paragould, police will also follow up on some leads from the witnesses.

"It's just ongoing. It's ever changing. There's more people that have come forward who were actually there and knew what was going on. It's just a matter of us running those individuals down now," Lt. Trowbridge said.

Hospital officials said the newborn was not hurt. The baby is being transferred to a newborn care unit outside the Kennett area, according to Trowbridge.

The baby is in the custody of the Dunklin County Juvenile Office.

Kenneth James, Chief Executive Officer for the Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center released this statement about the incident:

Out of respect for patient privacy laws, I cannot comment on the specifics about this case. I will add that our staff responded immediately and appropriately to the situation. Since this is now a criminal case, I would direct any further questions to the local authorities.

Police are still investigating the motive behind taking the baby.

If you know any information regarding this case, please call Kennett Police at 573-888-4622.

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