Authorities say a 22-year-old Norfolk woman was arrested Tuesday in connection with the false reporting of her baby's abduction.
Norfolk police said Johna Richards was arrested about 10:40 p.m. on suspicion of false reporting and child abuse. Her 10-month-old son was placed in protective custody.
Authorities said Richards reported that the baby had been taken from her home near Norfolk Avenue and South First Street. Richards told the officers that she and a younger relative had been playing games and listening to music on the main floor of the home while the boy was sleeping downstairs. Richards said she checked on the baby about 30 to 45 minutes before calling authorities, he was asleep and she returned to the main floor. Later, Richards said she noticed that the back door of the home was open and that the 10-month-old was missing.
Officers searching the area heard a baby crying, and the infant was found south of the home in a car seat on the ground. The car seat belonged to Richards, police said, and the boy was strapped in with a blanket covering most of his body. There was a bottle on top of the blanket.
Later, police determined that no abduction had occurred and that the infant had been left outside for about 15 minutes before they were called.
— Jay Withrow