Authorities on Thursday evening confirmed the 8-month-old infant taken in a Tuesday kidnapping was in the care of the Division of Family and Child Services.
Sheriff Clark Millsap said about 7 p.m. that William Stover had been taken into DFCS care Wednesday night after Samantha Barrett, 22, allegedly kidnapped the child and stole his mother’s car.
The child’s mother, Kristen Howard, will appear in Bartow County Juvenile Court today for a hearing to determine whether Stover will be returned to her care.
Millsap declined to comment on the hearing or expound on the decision by investigators and DFCS to remove the child.
Bartow County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Sgt. Jonathan Rogers also declined to comment, saying the matter was a civil custody case not a criminal matter.
According to the incident report, Howard told authorities she had helped Barrett look for a place to stay throughout the day Tuesday. About 11 p.m. the two had returned to Howard’s Comanche Drive residence where the woman went in to retrieve a lighter. She said when she came outside Barrett had driven off in Howard’s 2003 Ford Taurus with Stover in the back seat.
Deputies were advised while at the home that Cobb County authorities were notified earlier Tuesday after Barrett had left an Acworth gas station in the vehicle with the child in the back seat, the report said. Howard told police she did not report the incident, having gotten a ride back to her home where Barrett later returned the vehicle and child.
Howard, who allegedly had “slurred speech, slow motor skills and extreme difficulty answering simple questions,” said she had taken a Xanax to “calm down,” the report stated.
Barrett, 22, was apprehended midday Wednesday in Lamar County after leading Henry County authorities on a high-speed chase down Interstate 75.
She remains jailed in Henry County, where she faces charges stemming from the pursuit and endangering the infant. Once released, Barrett faces kidnapping and theft by taking — motor vehicle counts in Bartow County.