Two people are facing federal charges in the case of a 2-year-old boy who was abandoned at a Mississippi Goodwill store earlier this week.
Jeremy Fitzgerald, 34, and Turliscea Turner, 29, of Memphis, Tennessee, have been charged with kidnapping the child, the US Attorney’s Office in Western Tennessee announced.
The boy was dropped off Monday at a Southaven Goodwill store with nothing but a bag of clothes and a note. Police say a bystander had called to report that a man wearing black jogging pants and a cowboy hat had left the child there.
According to the criminal complaint, Fitzgerald offered to have Turner, who was posing as his sister, babysit the boy while Fitzgerald and the child’s mother went to Nashville on Sunday. Fitzgerald then demanded that the mother work for him as a prostitute.
When she refused, he allgedly left her in Nashville and did not answer her repeated calls. Fitzgerald then spoke to the child’s aunt, demanding money for the child’s return, according to authorities. Turner was aware of the demand for money in exchange for the child, according to the complaint.
On Monday morning, Fitzgerald, Turner and an unknown person, drove the child across state line to Southaven, according to the complaint. They stopped at a gas station, and while Turner went inside, Fitzgerald took the child to a nearby Goodwill store and left him there, authorities said. The complaint alleges that Turner knew the child had been left at the Goodwill.