Two people in Tennessee are facing federal charges of kidnapping a 2-year-old boy later found abandoned at a Goodwill store in Mississippi. Authorities say 34-year-old Jeremy Fitzgerald of Memphis told the boy's mother that his sister would watch the toddler while he took her to Nashville on Sunday. But the babysitter, 29-year-old Turliscea Turner, was not Fitzgerald's sister, and once the mom got to Nashville, Fitzgerald demanded she work for him as a prostitute, per the criminal complaint. When she wouldn't comply, Fitzgerald allegedly left her there, called the boy's aunt with a ransom demand, and drove to Mississippi with the boy, Turner, and another person on Monday. When the group stopped at a gas station in Southaven, authorities say Fitzgerald took the boy to the Goodwill store and left him there with only a change of clothes and a note.
An employee said the man claimed the boy had been abandoned by his mother. But Antoinette Smith tells WREG that there's "no way I would have left my baby." The boy, named Sergio, was turned over to Mississippi Child Protective Services before police located Fitzgerald in Memphis later Monday. He was taken to a hospital with minor injuries after crashing his vehicle into another car while trying to flee, authorities say. Turner, who was allegedly aware the boy had been abandoned after a ransom demand, was arrested at a nearby grocery store. Both face 20 years to life in federal prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. The case will be presented to a grand jury, meaning more charges could follow. The boy will be returned to his mother when CPS "determines it proper." (Read more kidnapping stories.)