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 Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida

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PostSubject: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:40 am

7-Month-Old Girl Missing In Panhandle
POSTED: Sunday, November 1, 2009
UPDATED: 8:55 pm EST November 1, 2009

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/21492413/detail.html#
Shannon Lee Dedrick
Officials in Florida's Panhandle are looking for a 7-month-old baby who disappeared from a Chipley home and that they are considering endangered.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office said Shannon Lea Dedrick disappeared from a home about 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
The child was reported missing by the parents and an active search is under way in the Brown Street area of Chipley. Search and rescue teams from Bay, Gulf, Jackson and Liberty counties are assisting in the search, was well as the Graceville Police Department.
Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock told the Panama City News Herald that nothing at this time makes them think the baby was abducted, but she "didn’t crawl or walk away."
The girl is 2 feet tall, weighs 11 pounds and has brown hair and blue eyes.
Late Sunday, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a statewide alert for the child.
Anyone with information about the child is asked to call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 850-638-6111.

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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:41 am

Search continues for missing baby

November 02, 2009 7:29 AM
Andrew Gant
Florida Freedom Newspapers
CHIPLEY – Authorities from four counties were searching the woods early Sunday for a 7-month-old baby missing since Saturday morning.

The child, Shannon Lea Dedrick, “didn’t crawl or walk away,” said Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock.

Asked what could have happened to the child, Haddock said investigators were “looking at everything” and “at this time, we couldn’t say.”

Haddock also said “there’s nothing to lead us to believe at this time that this is an abduction.”

The infant was reported missing from the family’s Brown Street home about 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Both the mother and father were present, Haddock said.

Search-and-rescue teams from Bay, Gulf and Liberty counties joined Washington County authorities combing a wooded area near the house.

They searched until 1:30 a.m., Haddock said, without any luck.

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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:56 am

http://www.fosterfollynews.com/news/2009Nov1MissingChild.php

Sunday November 1st, 2009
Kathy Foster


Sheriff's Department Issues Search For 7 Month Old Girl
Missing from her home on Brown Street in Chipley since around noon on Saturday.

A Florida MISSING CHILD Alert has been issued for Shannon Dedrick, a white female, 7 months old, 2 feet tall, 011 pounds, brown hair, and blue eyes. She was last seen at her residence in Chipley on 10/31/09.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of this child please contact the Washington County Sheriff's Office at 850-638-6111 or 911.

The Washington County Sheriff's Department is continuing a search for blonde, blue eyed, seven month old Shannon Dedrick of 263 Brown Street in Chipley. (Shown at left)

According to Sheriff Bobby Haddock, (shown at the right with Tommy Ford of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), his department is following up every lead in their search for the child that has been missing since around noon on Saturday.

Haddock said the call reporting the missing child was received by his department around 11:50 a.m. Oct. 31st and the FDLE, along with Search & Rescue from Jackson,

Liberty, Bay and Calhoun counties have been at the scene. The Sheriff said the child was in the home of her parents when she went missing

The primary area being searched is north of South Boulevard and on the East side of Brown Street.

*Haddock reported Sunday afternoon that approxiamtely 75 people are searching the wooded and swampy terrain area surrounding the home.

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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:57 am

http://www.newsherald.com/news/baby-78728-chipley-missing.html

Search on for missing baby
7-month-old Shannon Dedrick 'didn't crawl' away, sheriff says.
November 01, 2009

CHIPLEY – Authorities from four counties were searching the woods early Sunday for a 7-month-old baby missing since Saturday morning.

The child, Shannon Lea Dedrick, “didn’t crawl or walk away,” said Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock.

Asked what could have happened to the child, Haddock said investigators were “looking at everything” and “at this time, we couldn’t say.”

Haddock also said “there’s nothing to lead us to believe at this time that this is an abduction.”

The infant was reported missing from the family’s Brown Street home about 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Both the mother and father were present, Haddock said.

Search-and-rescue teams from Bay, Gulf and Liberty counties joined Washington County authorities combing a wooded area near the house.

They searched until 1:30 a.m., Haddock said, without any luck.

The site was south of U.S. 90, an area of dense woods near South Boulevard and Orange Hill Road.

Haddock said the case still was considered a search and rescue effort, not a search and recovery.

He asked anyone with information in the disappearance to call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 638-6111.

The state Department of Law Enforcement also issued a missing child alert, listing the little girl as 2 feet long and 11 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.

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Last edited by Melinda on Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:59 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:57 am

http://www.wtvynews4.com/home/headlines/68522697.html

Infant missing from home on Florida Panhandle

Nov 2, 2009

CHIPLEY, Fla. (AP) - Florida authorities were searching for baby girl missing on the Panhandle.

Seven-month-old Shannon Dedrick was last seen on at her Chipley home on Saturday. She was described as 2-feet tall and 11 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued the missing child alert Sunday night.

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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:57 am

http://wokv.com/localnews/2009/11/7-month-old-panhandle-girl-mis.html

7 Month Old Panhandle Girl Missing

By Rich Jones, News Director
@ November 2, 2009 5:03 AM

A 7-month old girl is missing in the Panhandle area and may be in danger.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office says Shannon Lea Dedrick disappeared from a Chipley home just before noon on Halloween Day.

The child was reported missing by the parents and police told the media they don't think the child was abducted.

However, they said there's also no indication she crawled away.

The girl is 2 feet tall, weighs 11 pounds and has brown hair and blue eyes.

If you have any information that might help call the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:20 pm

NewsHerald Panama City Florida 11/2/2009
UPDATED: Person of interest ID'd in missing baby case
7-month-old last seen Saturday
November 02, 2009 10:58:00 AM
By JAY FELSBERG / Florida Freedom Newspapers

CHIPLEY — Investigators said Monday they have identified a person of interest in the case of a missing 7-month Washington County baby but would not release the individual’s name.

About 75 volunteers and officers still were searching Monday for the missing child, Shannon Lea Dedrick, who authorities said went missing between 3 and 11 a.m. Saturday and has been the subject of an search since then. A 3 p.m. press conference revealed little about the disappearance.

“We’re not leaving any stone unturned,” Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock said earlier Monday. “We’re even checking every Dumpster, residential garbage cans, and bags of garbage, ditches and culverts.

Haddock said at this point nothing leads to evidence of an abduction. “The child couldn’t walk away; the child couldn’t crawl away,” Haddock said.

Haddock said he could not release the names of the child’s parents, and no phone number under Dedrick was listed in the local phone book. The family’s home, at 793C Brown Street, sits about 100 yards off the road and was sealed off by deputies looking for evidence. The address is just over the Chipley city limits in Washington County, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) is lead agency in the search.

The “arm-to-ground search” has covered about a half-mile radius around the home as of midday Monday, and a Sheriff’s Office news release indicated the coverage area was expanding by the hour.

Haddock said Monday morning the search included 75 personnel from Liberty, Bay and Gulf search and rescue organizations, and has included officers from the Chipley Police Department, Graceville Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Bay County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Department of Law Enforcement, in addition to deputies from WCSO.

“Cadaver dogs and specific-scent dogs from Chattahoochee Corrections and other institutions are also being used,” Haddock said.

Firefighters from various Washington County departments also are aiding in the search.

The search-and-rescue volunteers use the global positioning system as part of their search procedure.

Saturday’s search extended until 1:30 a.m. Sunday and resumed at 7 a.m. Sunday. The search was ongoing Monday.

About 1,300 tips were called in when the missing child alert was first posted Saturday, authorities reported.

“We would like to thank those who have contacted law enforcement officers with tips in reference to baby Shannon,” Haddock said in a news release. “All tips are being thoroughly investigated, and I would ask that you continue to contact our office at (850) 638-6111 if you have any information concerning this missing child.”

Link www.newsherald.com/news/person-78739-baby-case.html

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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:33 am

http://www.panhandleparade.com/index.php/mbb/article/neighbors_react_to_childs_disappearance/mbb7719670/

Neighbors React To Child’s Disappearance

11/02/09 - 06:29 PM

Shannon Dedrick of Chipley was reported missing Saturday morning around 11:30. A missing child alert was put out by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement last night (Sunday).

At a news conference this afternoon Sheriff Bobby Haddock said he could give the name of possible suspect at this time.

We did learn that the last time Shannon was seen was in her parents’ bedroom before they went to sleep. And while authorities aren’t saying much right now… neighbors who who helped search for Shannon are talking about her disappearance.

“I just hope the baby’s alive, really,” says Tanya Wilt, a neighbor.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office says Shannon disappeared sometime between 3:00 a-m and 11:00 a-m Saturday morning. Most residents didn’t see anything suspicious, but one neighbor mentions seeing a van pull into the driveway.

It wasn’t until later that morning that they knew something was wrong when Shannon’s mother… who they say normally keeps to herself… came to their doors. Wilt says that “she come and knocked on our door at around 11 or 11:15 in the morning and she said ‘did y’all hear anybody pull up in our driveway?’ and I said ‘no, why’ and she said ‘cause my baby’s gone’ and I’m like ‘what do you mean your baby’s gone?’!”

Neighbors then helped Shannon’s mother search their mobile home. And after the search they called to report seven-month-old Shannon missing. According to Wilt “We walked over the three of us together and I’m like ‘are you sure your baby’s gone’ cause the house…it could have been in there somewhere. And we walked through and there was no baby.”

Neighbors say a short time after the report was filed the driveway was packed with police cars.

Officers with the FDLE, Gulf, Franklin, Bay and Holmes County Sheriff’s Offices are assisting in the case as well as deputies with the Graceville and Chipley Police Departments.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is following up on the many tips they are receiving about the case.

If you have any information contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 638-6311.

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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:34 am

http://www2.jcfloridan.com/jcf/news/local/article/search_continues_for_missing_child/105572/

Search continues for missing child

By DEBORAH BUCKHALTER, Floridan Staff Writer
Published: November 2, 2009 Updated: November 2, 2009

Washington County authorities say they have a “a person of suspicion” in the Saturday disappearance of a baby from her home in Chipley. The name of the suspect was not released, however, and no one had been arrested as of late Monday.

A missing child, or Amber alert was issued Sunday for seven-month-old Shannon Lea Dedrick. She was reported missing by her parents around 11:30 a.m. Saturday. She is believed to have disappeared between the hours of 3 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. that day.

At a press conference Monday, Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock gave few details beyond what he had earlier issued in a press release. The names of the parents, for instance, were still being withheld, along with further significant information about the case.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the Graceville Police Department are assisting other Washington County law enforcement in the search for the baby.

Searchers initially focused on a half-mile radius around the youngster’s home at 793C Brown Street, the team members walking arm-to-arm in a close ground search. That circle is ever-widening; however, multiple agencies and volunteers were as yet unable to fund the child.

The family’s weather-worn beige trailer sits along a dirt trail off Brown Street, and currently behind a strip of yellow crime scene tape.

The neighborhood gives way to large expanses of woods and occasional swampy ponds to the south. Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock has called on about 75 individuals to assist in the search and rescue effort.

He also enlisted the help of A Child is Missing, a non-profit organization based in Fort Lauderdale. That group called approximately 1,300 households, alerting people in the area to be on the lookout for the missing child. Team Adam, an extension of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, is also assisting.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a missing child alert, and others assisting in the search and rescue effort include the Bay and Holmes county sheriff’s offices, Chipley Police Department.

Anyone who may have information is being asked to call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 638-6111.

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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:06 am

http://www.wjhg.com/news/headlines/69002287.html

NewsChannel 7 Confirms The Names of Missing Chipley Baby's Parents

There are a few new details tonight in the case of a 7-month old baby, missing from her Chipley home. NewsChannel 7 has confirmed the names of Shannon Dedrick's parents, Christina Mercer and Rusty Dedrick.

Nov 3, 2009
Vanessa Nguyen

There are a few new details tonight in the case of a 7-month old baby, missing from her Chipley home.

NewsChannel 7 has confirmed the names of Shannon Dedrick's parents, Christina Mercer and Rusty Dedrick.

Shannon disappeared from the home sometime Saturday morning.
We're standing here near the Dedrick's residence in Chipley where authorities have now removed the crime scene tape from their home.

However, we can no longer go back there because it is considered private property.
But we are learning more and more about Shannon Dedrick's parents as the search continues for her both on-the-ground and in-the-air.

Choppers circled for hours high-above-the-sky on Tuesday, hoping to find anything that would lead them to 7-month-old Shannon Dedrick.
On the ground, several different teams combed through debris, others used search dogs, some searched on horseback.

"It's kinda scary, whether it's family or a friend involved, it really doesn't matter, it's just the fact that it happened and nobody even knows yet so it's really scary," says resident Lisa France.

There are still many unanswered questions surrounding Shannon Dedrick's disappearance.
Investigators say she disappeared from her Brown Street home between the hours of 3am to 11am on Sunday.

NewsChannel 7 has learned she was last seen in the custody of her parents, Christina Mercer and Rusty Dedrick.

We spoke with Shannon's great aunt, Lynda Padgett, who says they have also been left in the dark about what's happening.

"The clock is ticking away and she's just an innocent little child who you know, just deserves better."
She also says she's not sure if Christina would hurt Shannon.

"I think if Tina did something then she was definitely not in her right mind when she did it. I really can't say that I think or don't think that she's capable of it."
But some people believe it is possible.

"Not the father, I wouldn't think the father, no, not at all."

"He's too heartbroken and distraught."

"I wouldn't know what to say about the mom but not the father."
Once again, Shannon Dedrick is about 24 inches tall and weighs about 11 pounds.


If you have any information about this case, please contact the Washington County Sheriff's Office at (850)-638-6111.

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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:03 am

Missing Infant's Parents Were Investigated
November 4, 2009

CHIPLEY, Fla. -- The baby sitter of a missing infant sent a letter to Gov. Charlie Crist months before she disappeared asking him to save the child from her drug-abusing parents.

The Florida Department of Children and Families says it investigated 7-month-old Shannon Dedrick's mother and father after the August complaint, and workers have had "a lot of involvement" with the family.

But DCF Secretary George Sheldon says investigators did not find legal grounds to take the infant away.

Shannon was last seen by her parents at their home early Saturday morning. Searchers have concentrated on the woods surrounding the home, in a remote part of north Florida near the town of Chipley.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office has released little additional information about the case.Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:04 am

Please, please save that child' // E-MAIL, VIDEO
Months before 7-month-old girl went missing, worried baby sitter e-mailed Gov. Charlie Crist

Read Susan Baker's e-mail to Charlie Crist

CHIPLEY — Months before a 7-month-old girl disappeared from her family’s home, her baby sitter pleaded with the governor to “please, please save that child” from her parents’ alleged pattern of drug use, abuse and “really strange things,” according to an e-mail obtained Tuesday by The News Herald.

In response — on the third day in the search for little Shannon Dedrick — top officials with the state Department of Children and Families told The News Herald they were revisiting the case to see if they missed signs of danger.

“Did we miss anything? Were there any red flags? Should we have been more skeptical over the progress? We’re digging as hard as we can to see if there’s other things that we should’ve been doing,” Peter Digre, DCF’s assistant secretary for operations, said Tuesday night.

“As to whether we were being as smart as we could be, I’m not totally sure yet.”

In an interview Tuesday, Shannon’s baby sitter Susan Baker claimed the little girl’s mother said she wished her daughter “would disappear” weeks before the tiny infant vanished.

Even before that, though, Baker was concerned.

In an August e-mail provided to The News Herald, Baker begged Gov. Charlie Crist’s office to intervene, urgently claiming “that child needs help and no one is helping her.”

“I loved that child,” Baker said of Shannon in an interview Tuesday. “And I don’t know where she’s at. And I’m really sick and tired with all these games that’s being played.

“The only things they can come up with is exactly what they’re saying: ‘I don’t know.’ ”

Baker apparently sent Crist the e-mail Aug. 12, more than two months before Shannon’s disappearance.

The next day, Baker said, she received a call from a Child Protective Services worker who said he would investigate. She said she didn’t hear of any progress after that.

DCF, Digre said, received two reports on the family. The allegations included marijuana use around Shannon and a complaint that she had been shaken.

Doctors found no evidence of the latter, Digre said.

The family entered treatment programs and received help from food stamps and a Women, Infants and Children program. Home visitors checked on progress and DCF stayed in contact with Shannon’s pediatrician, Digre said.

“The reality is, for a number of months, we have had a lot of involvement with this family in many, many ways,” he said.

DCF Secretary George Sheldon said the alleged marijuana use “doesn’t necessarily give us the legal authority to remove a child.”

Today, Digre said, the agency would be poring over records for any signs they might have missed. Those records would become “totally open” if Shannon is found dead, Digre said.

Baker identified the mother as Tina Mercer and her boyfriend as Rusty Dedrick. However, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office – which has released little information about the case – would not confirm those names.

The Sheriff’s Office did acknowledge receipt of a Freedom of Information Act request from The News Herald, which asked for confirmation of names, incident reports taken at the time Shannon was reported missing and a recording of the 911 call.

But there was no response to the request and the Sheriff’s Office neither produced the documents nor cited a statute that would allow investigators to withhold them.

For days, investigators have feared Shannon is hidden in the woods or in one of many trash bins near her family’s trailer on a dirt drive off Brown Street.

Dozens of searchers have labored there, hoping to find clues.

“I know there’s a lot of rumors out there that aren't true,” said sheriff’s spokeswoman Andrea Gainey. “People are talking and spreading them as the gospel, and they are not.”

The Sheriff’s Office has not addressed many of those rumors, and Gainey did not immediately return a message seeking comment on Baker’s claims.

Baker flatly denied any involvement in the baby’s disappearance.

While the puzzling case has drawn attention in major newspapers and on cable television, many details have remained secret.

Video here

http://www.newsherald.com/news/pleas...d-chipley.html




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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:21 am

http://www.wjhg.com/home/headlines/69225777.html

Babysitter of Missing Chipley Girl May Be A Suspect

There appears to be a visible shift in the investigation into the disappearance of 7-month-old Shannon Dedrick. NewsChannel 7 has learned her babysitter, Susan Baker, may be a suspect in the case.

Nov 4, 2009
Vanessa Nguyen

There appears to be a visible shift in the investigation into the disappearance of 7-month-old Shannon Dedrick.

NewsChannel 7 has learned her babysitter, Susan Baker, may be a suspect in the case.
The babysitter allegedly wrote a letter to Governor Charlie Crist back in August, warning him Shannon could be in danger.

But Baker was also involved in the 1987 disappearance of a Beaufort, South Carolina boy.

Susan Baker came to the public's attention Wednesday morning after a newspaper published an e-mail she sent to Governor Charlie Crist.

The August e-mail warned Crist that the baby was in danger, and her parents, Christina Mercer and Rusty Dedrick, were the source of the trouble.

Baker told the paper about a number of issues, including the parent's alleged use of marijuana.

But now it appears Baker may, herself, be a suspect in Shannon Dedrick's disappearance.
NewsChannel 7 has learned that in 2000, Baker and her husband, James, were extradited from Chipley back to Beaufort, South Carolina for the 1987 disappearance of Paul Baker, James' 3-year-old son by his first wife.
Susan was the boy's babysitter.

She and James Baker had an affair, and married after he divorced Paul's mother.
At that time, Susan Baker told South Carolina authorities she put Paul down for a nap, only to come back and discover him missing.

The boy was never found.

Susan Baker was sentenced to 10 years in prison for abusing the couple's daughter.
She was later released with time served, and the couple returned to Chipley.

Wednesday, Washington County Sheriff's investigators said they were aware of Susan Baker's background.

But they would not confirm if she is their person of interest in Shannon Dedrick's disappearance.

Law enforcement vehicles blocked the driveway to the Baker's home on Orange Hill Road most of the day.

The Bakers did not answer any of our telephone calls.

As for the search for the missing 7-month old baby, there is nothing new.
Shannon Dedrick disappeared from her Brown Street home in Chipley on Saturday, October 31st.

She was last seen with her parents between 3am to 11am.
And with each day that passes, the chances of finding baby Shannon alive diminishes.

If you have any information about this case, please contact the Washington County Sheriff's Office at (850)-638-6111.

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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:22 am

Comments: Baby Shannon (7 months) Missing Pensacola, FL
http://www.topix.com/forum/city/chipley-fl/TBBMC04K2D553SJ3N

200 Comments

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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:23 am

Missing Fla. Infant Found Alive
Sheriff: Girl Found Under Baby Sitter's Bed
POSTED: 5:08 pm EST November 4, 2009
UPDATED: 5:56 am EST November 5, 2009

http://www.wesh.com/news/21523565/detail.html

CHIPLEY, Fla. -- Florida authorities have found a missing baby alive under her baby sitter's bed and said they're planning to charge the baby sitter, her husband and the child's mother.

Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock said early Thursday that investigators found 7-month-old Shannon Dedrick in a box at Susan Elizabeth Baker's home near Chipley, a rural Panhandle town. The child had been missing for five days.
Haddock said deputies are working to charge Baker, James Arthur Baker and Chrystina Lynn Mercer. Haddock wouldn't provide details. He said more information would be released soon.
Her parents reported Shannon missing Saturday afternoon. Haddock said authorities don't believe the father was involved. He said Susan Baker and the father are related.

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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:24 am

Missing Baby Found Alive At Sitter's Home
Posted: 5:43 am EST November 5, 2009
Updated: 8:05 am EST November 5, 2009

http://www.wftv.com/news/21528233/detail.html

CHIPLEY, Fla. -- A baby missing for five days was found alive and well under her baby sitter's bed, and Florida authorities said Thursday they plan to charge the sitter, her husband and the child's mother.
Investigators found 7-month-old Shannon Dedrick in a box tucked under a bed surrounded by items intended to hide the child at Susan Elizabeth Baker's home near Chipley, a rural Panhandle town, Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock said in an interview early Thursday. The baby was placed in protective custody.

PRESS CONFERENCE: Missing Baby Found Alive
http://www.wftv.com/video/21528403/index.html

AT THE SCENE: 7-Month-Old Reunited With Family
http://www.wftv.com/slideshow/news/21528781/detail.html

"Statistically speaking this should not have ever happened, that we found this child alive, especially after so many days. Time was against us," Haddock said.
Shannon was taken to a hospital but appeared healthy, Haddock said.
"It was a very emotional for us, because once we got her to hospital, we called our wives and every one of us was crying. Grown men crying. It's just such a relief" that the child was found, he said. "We've had missing children cases in the past, but nothing like this."
Haddock said deputies were working to charge Baker, her husband James Arthur Baker and the child's mother, Chrystina Lynn Mercer. He wouldn't provide details about the possible charges but said more information would be released later Thursday. Authorities don't believe the child's father, James Russell Dedrick Jr., was involved but the case is still under investigation, Haddock said. He said Susan Baker and the father are related.
Haddock confirmed that Baker was the Susan Elizabeth Baker cited in court records as being convicted of assault in South Carolina in 1987, and questioned but not indicted in 2000 for a 3-year-old child's disappearance, also in 1987. He confirmed that Baker wrote an e-mail to Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's office in August, pleading for the governor to help Shannon Dedrick.
"And my response is, 'We saved the child, Ms. Baker," Haddock said.
Court documents released Wednesday showed that child welfare workers in Florida began looking into allegations Shannon was being abused less than two weeks after she was born.
Her parents reported her missing around 11 a.m. Saturday. They told authorities that they had not seen her since about 3 a.m.
About 100 law enforcement agents and others scoured the woods around the couple's home, Haddock said. Investigators contacted the Bakers again on Wednesday and they allowed them into their home, Haddock said.
"They gave us consent to search the home and found the baby in a box under a bed, with stuff pushed around the box to hide the baby," he said.
Court records released Wednesday said investigators frequently went to the infant's home from August to late September and reported that both parents used marijuana and kept a messy home.
But investigators reported that Shannon seemed to be cared for and repeatedly cited that the risk to the baby was "intermediate." In September, an investigator said a physician determined that the child was healthy and expressed "no concerns regarding the baby."
Court records show Elizabeth Baker was charged in South Carolina with assault and battery with intent to kill and assault and batter of a high and aggravated nature in 1987. After being convicted, she was sentence to 10 years in prison. The sentence was suspended to 80 days.
She was extradited to South Carolina from Chipley in 2000, and charged in the disappearance of 3-year-old Paul Leonard Baker. The child was never found, according to the Beaufort County, S.C., sheriff's office.
Police reports don't indicate the child's possible relation.
A sheriff's investigator from Beaufort County was sent to Florida to assist in the missing child case, sheriff's spokeswoman Robin McIntosh said Wednesday.

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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:24 am

Missing Baby Found Under Sitter’s Bed
Thursday, November 05, 2009 8:21:26 AM

http://www.cfnews13.com/News/Local/2009/11/5/missing_baby_found_under_babysitter39s_bed.html

CHIPLEY -- A 7-month-old baby who had been missing for days in North Florida has been found alive in an unexpected place.

Deputies in Washington County said they found baby Shannon Dedrick in a box under her babysitter’s bed. Shannon’s parents reported her missing Saturday.

Crews Wednesday began converging on the home of the babysitter, Susan Baker. For now, deputies said Baker will be charged, along with her husband and the child’s mother.

Investigators have not yet said exactly what happened to the baby girl, or how each person is involved.

Authorities did say Baker and the girl’s father are related. More details are expected to be released Thursday morning.

Is Abduction Related To Cold Case?

According to CNN, a woman named Susan Baker was investigated in 2000 for the disappearance of her 3-year-old stepson, Paul Baker.

Investigators said they are looking into whether that is the same Susan Baker who was Shannon’s babysitter.

Paul Baker vanished in South Carolina in 1987. He was never found, the Beaufort County, S.C., Sheriff’s Office said it is now a cold case.

Sitter Reportedly Tries To Save Baby From Parents

An Associated Press report said Susan Baker sent a letter to Gov. Charlie Crist months earlier, asking the governor to save Shannon Dedrick from her drug-abusing parents.

The Florida Department of Children and Families said it investigated the baby’s mother and father after the complaint in August, and workers have had “a lot of involvement” with the family.

However, DCF Secretary George Sheldon said investigators did not find legal grounds to take the infant away from her parents.

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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:25 am

Missing Baby Found In Cedar Box Under Bed, 2 Arrested
Posted: 5:43 am EST November 5, 2009
Updated: 6:31 pm EST November 5, 2009

http://www.wftv.com/news/21528233/detail.html

CHIPLEY, Fla. -- Investigators spent five days searching dense vines and marshes for a missing infant, only to find her lying quietly in a 2-foot by 3-foot cedar box (see the box) that had been shoved under her baby sitter's bed.
Clothing was packed around it to muffle any sounds and baking powder placed inside to mask the stench of dirty diapers.
Authorities said the baby's mother, Chrystina Lynn Mercer, gave the infant to baby sitter Susan Elizabeth Baker early Saturday (see mug shots), then reported her missing about 10 hours later.

IMAGES: Box Baby Was In
http://www.wftv.com/slideshow/news/21534174/detail.html?qs=1;s=1;p=news&dm=ss&tn=b

Suspects' Mugs
http://www.wftv.com/slideshow/news/21532913/detail.html

NEWS CONFERENCES: Afternoon
http://www.wftv.com/video/21531804/index.html

Morning
http://www.wftv.com/video/21528403/index.html

AT THE SCENE: 7-Month-Old Reunited With Family
http://www.wftv.com/slideshow/news/21528781/detail.html

Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock choked up Thursday (watch news conference) as he described how 7-month-old Shannon Dedrick was stashed in the box for 12 straight hours before investigators discovered her late Wednesday. They believe she had been in the box on and off for several days.
"She was way back under the bed," he said. "But she was not crying."
Baker had written a letter to Gov. Charlie Crist's office in August, pleading for help for the baby and claiming her father shook her and both parents did drugs in front of her. She asked Mercer a week ago if she could have permanent custody, Haddock said. Officials do not believe Shannon's father, who is Baker's stepbrother, was involved in the disappearance.

See Images Of Baby Reunited With Family
Haddock said Shannon apparently had been fed and cared for while she was with Baker, who lived about 12 miles from Mercer. He said Baker became a suspect several days ago but never told them where the baby was, even as they interviewed her for 12 hours.
Shannon appeared healthy, much to the relief of investigators who spent days looking for her.
"Once we got the hospital, five or six of us called our wives to let them know that we found the child and a lot grown men were shedding tears," Haddock said.
Mercer's mother, Candis Boyer, attended Thursday's news conference and said afterward that she was there to show support for her daughter and granddaughter.
"I love my daughter very deeply," she said.
Mercer was charged with interference of child custody, desertion of a child and several other charges. Charges against Baker included neglect of a child with aggravated circumstances and interference of child custody.
Bond was set at $150,000 for Baker and $75,000 for Mercer. In separate hearings, the women shuffled in wearing leg chains and their hands bound with plastic restraints.
The judge told Mercer she couldn't have contact with her daughter, who was in state custody, if she posts bond. Both women said they understood the charges against them and their arraignments were scheduled for Dec. 14.
Baker's husband, James Arthur Baker, was arrested Wednesday night but released. He is still under investigation, Haddock said.
Shannon's parents told investigators they last saw her when they went to bed around 3 a.m. Saturday and investigators thought she had vanished sometime between then and 8 a.m.
About 100 law enforcement agents and others spent days scouring around the baby's home in a remote, makeshift community of dirt roads, tin-roof shacks and old mobile homes. Searchers also dug through trash cans and dumpsters.
"Statistically speaking this should not have ever happened, that we found this child alive, especially after so many days," said Haddock, who cradled Shannon in his arms as he spoke to reporters earlier Thursday. "Time was against us."
According to court documents, child welfare officials began looking into allegations Shannon was being abused less than two weeks after she was born.
Investigators frequently went to the infant's home from August to late September and reported that both parents used marijuana and kept a messy home. But they said Shannon seemed to be cared for and in September, a physician determined she was healthy.
Susan Baker was involved in another missing child case in South Carolina more than two decades ago. She told authorities her stepson, 3-year-old Paul Leonard Baker, disappeared from the family's Beaufort, S.C., home on March 5, 1987, while she napped.
A massive manhunt turned up nothing. She and her husband, James Baker, were extradited to South Carolina in 2000 and charged with assault and battery in Paul's disappearance, according to police reports provided by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. But a grand jury never indicted them and the child was never found.
Susan Baker did serve prison time after authorities investigating her stepson's disappearance discovered a 6-year-old girl in the Baker home had been badly beaten. Susan Baker was sentenced to 10 years in prison but the punishment was suspended after 80 days. Authorities could not say how she was related to the girl.
Florida officials refused to answer questions Thursday about the South Carolina case. They would say only that investigators from that state were in Chipley and had spoken with Baker.

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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:48 am

http://www.fosterfollynews.com/news/2009Nov5MotherBabysitterCharged.php

Mother and Aunt Face Charges



Thursday November 5th, 2009

The crowd gathered at the Courthouse Annex on 3rd Street in Chipley just before noon on Thursday included a group of the volunteers who had played an important role in the search and rescue effort directed at finding 7 month old Shannon Lea Dedrick over the past four days.

Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock held a press conference at 11 a.m. on Thursday to clarify charges brought against Crystina Mercer (Shannon's mother), and Susan Baker (aunt/babysitter) in connection with the missing infant case.

Shannon Dedrick was reported missing around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31st and was discovered Nov. 4 in a three foot by two foot, lidded cedar box, under a bed in the residence of Susan Baker last night. Baker and her husband, James Arthur Baker live at 3395 Orange Hill Road, southeast of Chipley. Sheriff Haddock said other then the baby the only other items in the box was a box of baking soda to mask any smells and a blanket.

The Sheriff said initial charges filed against each woman include:

Crystina Mercer

* Interference with Child Custody - 3rd degree felony

* Desertion of a Child - 3rd degree felony

* Filing a False Report Regarding a Missing Child - 1st degree misdemeanor

* Filing a False Report of a Crime - 1st degree misdemeanor

* Contributing to the delinquency of a child - 1st degree misdemeanor


Susan Baker

* Neglect of a Child with Aggravated Circumstances - 2nd degree felony

* Interference of Child Custody - 3rd degree felony

* Filing a False Report Regarding a Missing Child - 1st degree misdemeanor

* Filing a False Report of a Crime - 1st degree felony

* Contributing to the Delinquency of a Child - 1st degree misdemeanor

According to Sheriff Haddock, Baker had been a person of interest throughout the investigation and and he said she had allowed the search of her home that resulted in Shannon being found in the box under the bed.

Haddock said the Bakers had never been on the radar for Washington County law enforcement until they ran a routine background check on all of the principles in the local case.

Haddock said deputies had been to the Baker house several times, but said each time Baker apparently hid the baby in the box placed against a wall with other items placed in front of it. He said when Detective Kenny Brock carried the baby out of the residence Baker said, "She's all right. She's all right."

Haddock said it appears that Susan Baker wanted permanent custody of the little girl and Christina Mercer agreed and turned the baby over to Baker in the early morning hours of Oct. 31st.

Referring to questions about Susan Baker being involved in a case of a missing child in Buffo, South Carolina, Haddock told reporters there was a deputy from that county in town looking into the cold case, but said he had no direct information regarding that case.

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PostSubject: Re: Shannon Lee Dedrick (7 mo.) 10/31/09 Florida   Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:09 pm

Video of Arrainment for mother and aunt -
http://www.newsherald.com/video/?vid...pId=1171892348

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