Baby found, alleged kidnapper still at large

June 9, 2009 9:30:39 PM PDT
The child is with FBI agents in Rockville, Maryland and is expected to be reunited with his mother on Wednesday. Authorities say a woman, whose own infant son was taken away from her by DHS because she couldn't care for it, goes off and steals a friend's infant and convinces a former boyfriend that he was the biological father.

"He, unbeknownst to him thinks that's his child, he does the right thing and says, 'Ok, I'll accept responsibility but we're moving to Maryland'," said Lt. John Walker.

Authorities say, hours after kidnapping one-year-old Tremayne Peak, 20-year-old Vanessa Perez approached a 30-year-old Mt. Airy man, she once had sex with a year ago and told him he was the father. The man was in the process of moving to Germantown, Maryland.

"We don't believe he had anything to do with it. It's just an unfortunate situation where a person who obviously has some mental issues that she needs to deal with."

The child's mother, Nikina Lazenby says she had known Perez for about a year and trusted her enough to let her take her one-year-old son, Tremayne Peak for a walk around the neighborhood.

"She had my son before and she never did anything like this."

Lazenby turned the child over to Perez about 6:30 Monday night for what was to be a little stroll around the neighborhood. But an hour an a half later, they had still had not returned.

"At about 9:00 p.m., mom calls Vanessa up and says, 'Look I thought you were coming back in an hour?' She said, 'Look, I'm not too far away, I'll be there shortly.'"

The woman Lazenby thought was her friend never returned and finally called police at 12:30 a.m. Authorities say, it turns out Perez had her own one-year-old son taken away by DHS recently because she was unable to care for it. Lazenby says she had heard that story from someone in the neighborhood.

"I didn't know if it was true or not. I asked her and she told me it wasn't true."

"We think she may be suffering some anxiety from losing her child to a foster home and she may be trying to replace her child with Tremayne Peaks," said Lt. Walker.

An FBI agent tracked the woman, child and the Mt. Airy man standing outside a house in Germantown, Maryland about 8:15 Tuesday night.

"The agent goes towards the 3 of them; she hands the baby off to the male, and then jumps into a black vehicle. That vehicle flees at a high rate of speed," said Lt. Walker.

Authorities say the child is okay and appears to be unharmed. But the woman, so far, remains on the loose. When captured she will be facing federal kidnapping charges and related offenses.

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