Police looking for missing 2-month-old girl

June 16, 2008 3:41:06 PM PDT
Philadelphia Police are searching for a two-month-old baby girl. The child was last seen with an acquaintance of her mother, but now that woman has disappeared. 48 hours after that woman disappeared with little Shaniyah there's still no sign of either. Police and the family continue to search for the pair.

Earnestine Pitts Reeny spent the morning combing her North Philadelphia neighborhood in search of her infant granddaughter. Police issued a public alert to help find 2-month-old Shaniyah Granby.

Detectives say the mom, Tiesha Pitts, was near 26th and Oxford at about 5:30 Saturday evening when she gave the baby to a neighborhood acquaintance she knew as Crystal.

Sgt. Lamonte Adams told reporters, "Crystal then said to the mother, Tiesha, 'Can I take Shaniyah to the store with me.' And Tiesha says OK. And she lets her go to the store, she waits around for a little while ? she doesn't come back."

The dark skinned, curly haired infant was wearing a blue and green sleeper with pink flowers. She was in a pink and grey stroller, wrapped in a green Winnie the Pooh blanket.

Police say the acquaintance's name is actually Clarissa Hanton, and that she has allegedly disappeared with children before, but has not hurt them. She may have mental health problems.

The baby's grandmom is distraught. She said her daughter, the baby's mother, definitely has mental health challenges that impair her judgment.

Ernestine Pitts-Rainey tells Action News, "She was diagnosed as mentally retarded. OK. She has seven kids, OK. This one is her seventh one, and her first six she doesn't have. All of her kids are under DHS."

Ernestine says DHS did not take Shaniyah because the paternal grandmother was supervising her care until recently.

Police say the woman who disappeared with Shaniyah did stop a relatives house in Strawberry Mansion with the baby on Saturday night, and that the baby seemed OK. The baby has no known health problems, but authorities worry that because she is so young, she may be medically vulnerable.