Oregon teen arrested in connection to missing baby case
PORTLAND, Ore. - A 17-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday for allegedly stealing her cousin's 4-month-old son and abandoning him in the front yard of a Northeast Portland home.
Police arrested Kabriana Harper on suspicion of second-degree kidnapping, a Measure 11 offense. She was lodged at the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Home.
The case surfaced at about 2 a.m., when the baby's mother reported him missing. Officers searched the neighborhood near the Cedar Tree Apartments, located at 239 Southeast 148th Avenue.
Five hours later, the baby was found in the 400 block of Northeast 139th Avenue. Medics took the boy to a hospital. It's unclear who found him.
Police said Harper was staying with the baby's mother for a few days and took the boy early in the morning. She allegedly abandoned him beneath a tree outside the Portland home, police said.
A woman named Rochell, who lives in the Cedar Tree Apartments and didn't want to give her last name, said the baby's mother left the him with a friend while she took a shower. When she came out of the bathroom they were gone, Rochell said.
"Very scary," she said. "It tells you, you gotta keep your eyes on your kids. You can't let them out of your sight."
A neighbor told KATU News that the woman who lives at the house where the baby was found usually leaves for work at around 7 a.m. She found the baby in her yard Tuesday morning.
"It's really tragic that someone has the heart to do that to a little baby," said Florian Pasc.
Officer Kevin Macho was the first responding officer on the scene. He said he was relieved that the baby was OK.
"It's unfortunate that I'm maybe the only one that got to hold the baby after all the work that went into this," he said. "I think sometimes that people forget that under these police uniforms we're fathers and mothers and husbands and obviously for us it's a great outcome."
A motive for the alleged kidnapping has not been revealed.