Missing 2-month-old baby found safe in Leavenworth, mom charged - KCTV5

Missing 2-month-old baby found safe in Leavenworth, mom charged

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Leavenworth first responders cradle the baby Leavenworth first responders cradle the baby
Elizabeth Michaud Elizabeth Michaud

A missing 2-month-old baby was found in a stroller in an alley in Leavenworth Thursday night after he was apparently abandoned by his mother who was high, police said.

The mother was charged with child endangerment Friday afternoon. Kansas social workers took the child and his 2-year-old sister into custody.

KCTV5 had the only crews there when first responders cuddled David James Partridge Jr. after he was found. Crews gave a bottle to the baby, who was then whisked to a hospital to be checked out. 

"The most important thing is the baby was found safe, fortunately," Police Chief Pat Kitchens said.

Their father, David James Partridge Sr., told KCTV5 Friday afternoon that he is fighting to get his children back. He said the baby's mother was not high, but suffers from an impaired memory as a result of a head injury.

"I was really upset with my girlfriend," Partridge said. "Really upset. How can she lose a baby? How can that happen?"

Teresa Lewis had come home from a Bible study class. She was parking her vehicle when she spotted the stroller. After discovering the baby, she called 911.

She said she panicked when she saw the baby moving in the stroller.

"I was trembling inside," she said. "I was very scared."

She said she stayed with the baby while waiting for police to arrive. She said the baby, who was wearing red shoes, was crying but very sweet.

She also said she was angry that the baby had been abandoned in the alley.

"Why would they leave a baby in an alley?" she said. "Who would do that? Who could just leave a baby?"

Partridge was released from police custody about 11 p.m. Thursday.

"Our focus is on the mother," Kitchens said.

He said police want to know how the baby came to be alone several blocks away from his home. Kitchens said officers received reports that the mother had been walking the baby and have surmised the mother abandoned her child.

Other children were inside the home, and social workers took those children into their care.

The Leavenworth County District charged Elizabeth Ann Michaud, 28, of Leavenworth with one felony count of aggravated child endangerment.

The baby was born on March 13.

David Partridge Sr. said neither he nor Michaud did anything wrong. He said he had taken their 2-year-old daughter to his mother's home to do laundry before a trip and expected Michaud to be right behind him with their son.

Partridge said Michaud called him frantic because she could not find the baby. He said they called police and he raced to their home.

Kitchens said officers were called to the home just after 7 p.m. Thursday.

He said the mother was under the influence of drugs or narcotics, and he said the mother could not tell police the location of her baby.

The father arrived to the scene after police.

Partridge said Michaud only takes prescription drugs.

"I guess she hit her head a long time ago and the doctors put it as memory impairment. Her memory could've been part of it and part could be medication," he said."I'll try to help her get out. I love her. She's my girlfriend. I still love her."

Sarah and James Porcello have lived next door to the couple for a month. They said Michaud has frequently asked them for money, saying she needs it for medicine for her newborn.

They said Partridge's 4-year-old child by a different mother told them that the baby was being starved. As a result, the couple said they called police and the state child abuse hotline last month. Police investigated and took Partridge into custody on an outstanding warrant. The couple did not hear back about their abuse complaint to state social workers.

The 4-year-old child was with his or her mother Thursday night, and as a result was not taken into custody.

The couple wasn't surprised but horrified to watch Thursday night's events spiral out of control.

"I thought she did something to the baby," Sarah Porcello said. "She was crying, saying, 'Can we just find him the baby.' Screaming, 'I don't know where he is. I don't know where I put him.'"

Police dogs helped in the search.

Because no one saw David being abducted, his disappearance did not qualify for an Amber Alert to be issued, Kitchens said.

"We are working this as a missing child. It's urgent," Kitchens said Thursday night.

He said the public's assistance was needed just as in Amber Alert cases.

Leavenworth police reached out to the FBI. Kitchens declined to say whether the mother has a criminal history.

The boy's home is west of downtown Leavenworth near Sixth and Ohio streets.

Lewis said she had been praying about an issue during Bible study, and she believes the Lord answered her prayers because she found the baby unharmed.

"I was put there at the right place and at the right time," Lewis said.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

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