Kansas City, MO –
Some nine hours after a two-year-old Cass County girl was given to a stranger by her mother, the child was found safe, 200 miles away in Iowa.
From accounts pieced together by investigators, a woman claiming to be a child welfare worker duped the child's mother into turning over Syah Duffey. The mother lives in East Lynne, Missouri. The biological father, who had never seen the child, lives in Iowa. The woman who took the girl drove off in a van with Iowa license plates.
After a nationwide Amber Alert went out, Iowa State Troopers stopped a van in suburban DesMoines and found the girl inside with two other people. She was described as unharmed.
Cass County Sheriff's Corporal Kevin Tieman said the mother waited an hour and a half after handing over the child before calling law enforcers for help-- "to her it made somewhat sense, but the more she thought about it the less sense it made. And that's why she wanted to verify with her family members before calling law enforcement."
Tieman said there was no court order to give up the child and the events were treated as a 'stranger abduction.' The FBI called the Iowa Highway Patrol when agents learned the father might be in the Mitchellville area. Police said the child's father and a woman were the two others in the van when stopped.