Mother charged after missing 3-year-old found unharmed - CBS46 News

Mother charged after missing 3-year-old found unharmed

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The mother of a missing 3-year-old girl who was found safe Saturday has been charged in the incident. Jo Flowers is charged with reckless conduct.

The man who had the toddler for hours, according to police, also was charged. Kenneth Beasley is charged with interference with custody.

Flowers told police she was out late with her daughter, 3-year-old Azaria Grace Iwangou. Flowers was walking with a man, an acquaintance, when she somehow lost track of the man, who was carrying the girl. She said she didn't know the man's full name or his address.

Police used K-9 units, officers on the ground and a helicopter to look for Azaria. Officers set up a command post at Center Hill Park and searched the surrounding woods and neighborhoods. 

Seventeen hours into the search, someone called Crime Stoppers.

Police found Azaria, seemingly unharmed, at a home near Donald L. Holloway Parkway in northwest Atlanta.

At about 7:30 p.m. Saturday, a patrol unit pulled into the park with the little girl inside. She was briefly checked out by police officers before paramedics rushed her to the hospital for further evaluation.

Azaria's grandmother was in tears, relieved to see her granddaughter safe.

"I was really scared that she had been killed and dumped in one of these bushes around here," Lafayette Flowers said. "I just thank God that that baby is still alive."  

Police then released the girl's mother, who said nothing to reporters as she walked to a car and left with another woman.

"The lesson is to not to get drunk and hang out late at night with the kid," said Lafayette Flowers.

At the time, Capt. Paul Guerrucci said that the investigation was far from over. 

"We still have to determine how the child became missing," Guerrucci explained, "what the parental responsibilities are and see if anyone else has any culpability."

A day later, Jo Flowers was booked into the Fulton County jail charged with reckless conduct. Her first court appearance is scheduled for Monday morning.

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