Woman arrested for kidnapping of 7-month-old

A closed sign was pasted on the door of Elite Academy (Source: WMC Action News 5)
A closed sign was pasted on the door of Elite Academy (Source: WMC Action News 5)
A'Lelah and her mother (Source: WMC Action News 5)
A'Lelah and her mother (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A woman has been arrested for the kidnapping of a 7-month-old from a day care in Frayser.

Police said A'Lelah LaShun Fentress was taken from Elite Academy on Thursday afternoon. She was later found safe after being dropped off on the doorstep of a home.

"It was very traumatic, and I wouldn't wish that on my enemy," the girl's mother, Jasmine Fentress, said.

Fentress said the woman was unauthorized to pick up her child.

"Me, my mother, and her father," Fentress said.

Mya Lakes, 18, was arrested and charged with especially aggravated kidnapping, child abuse, and neglect.

"She [Lakes] pretended to be my sister," Fentress said. "She has no connection with us. We've never seen her before."

Fentress said police worked hard to find her daughter.

"They took me seriously," Fentress said. "They made sure that my daughter was safe."

Department of Children's Services confirmed they are investigating the case.

According to the police report, Lakes picked up the child and told the day care staff she was picking her up for her mother. She then signed the mother's first name and left.

Neighbors said they have never seen the woman before who is accused of taking the child. Lakes is set to appear in court Monday.

When Fentress said she did not give anyone permission to pick up her child, a city-wide search was launched to find A'Lelah. She was found roughly two hours later.

Her parents are happy their child is home and safe.

"My A'Lelah is here. She's here, she was unharmed," Fentress said.

Elite Academy was closed Friday. WMC Action News 5 crews went to the location to see a sign on the door reading "closed until Monday."

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