2 Indianapolis Black Women Help Ohio Police Find Missing Child
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As cliche as it may sound, not all heroes wear capes—or even police badges.
In Indianapolis, two civilians, who happen to be Black women, have been credited with finding a 5-month-old baby who went missing last week in Columbus, Ohio, and his alleged kidnapper.
According to Indy Star, it all started when two twin brothers, Kason and Kyair Thomas, were reported missing in Columbus. It’s unclear how Kason was found, but Kyair’s discovery includes a wild story that began when Indianapolis resident Shyann Delmar bought toys from a random woman at a gas station, then agreed to give the woman a ride to the store.
From Indy Star:
After dropping the woman off, Delmar shared the story and a video she’d taken of the woman with her cousin, Mecka Curry, and they realized the woman seemed eerily similar to the Columbus, Ohio, kidnapping suspect being shown in the news. Following what they chalk up to motherly intuition and sleuthing, the 27-year-old women followed their instincts and decided to take action.
Delmar said she met the woman who called herself “Mae,” bought toys from her and then gave her a ride to a Family Dollar down the street. When the woman started acting erratically, Delmar recorded video of her on her phone.
On Wednesday, Delmar pulled out her video when she saw several mugshots of Nalah T. Jackson, 24, on Facebook that triggered her memory of the strange woman the day before. Delmar compared the images from her phone with the mugshot of Jackson and said she noticed similarities, but didn’t want to jump to conclusions. She asked her family and friends for their input.
“I wanted just to verify it before I got her locked up,” Delmar said.
Curry and Delmar—who had previously exchanged phone numbers with the woman she came to suspect was a kidnapper—were eventually convinced “Mae” was, indeed, Nalah Jackson and, as luck would have it, “Mae” reached out to Delmar about selling her more toys, providing them with a chance to turn her over to the authorities. But they didn’t want “Mae” to figure out the plot until she was in handcuffs, so they had to be kind of slick about things.
More from Indy Star:
Delmar and Curry said they came up with a plan to take the woman to a store and call police to arrest her there so they wouldn’t be traced as the people who called her in. First the cousins called Columbus police, who told them to call the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. When they called Indianapolis police, the women struggled to get the point across that they believed Jackson was in their car.
They got frustrated and hung up, and took the woman to several more stores hoping she would shoplift and draw authorities’ attention. They worried taking her to a police station might cause her to run.
Curry said throughout the shopping trips, she made calls to detectives trying to relay all the information she received from her cousin about their belief “Mae” was the suspected kidnapper.
At one point the police called while the women were in the car, the cousins said. Not wanting to tip off the woman, Curry said she pretended to be talking to a friend and indicated they were driving on I-65 south. The women said police found their car and conducted a traffic stop. “Mae” at that point went quiet, the women said. Curry said a police officer initially seemed skeptical about whether it was Jackson, and said they should take her to a shelter.
Curry said she showed the doubtful cop Jackson’s mugshots and at that point, the officer agreed “Mae” was Jackson. (Either every Law & Order episode ever has been completely wrong, or a civilian showing a cop mugshots to identify a suspect is backward as hell, but OK.)
So, the next thing was to find the missing child, which Delmar and Curry had to do knowing the child was likely in a car Jackson is accused of stealing and abandoning in freezing temperatures. And the only lead they had was a bus schedule “Mae” had left behind before her arrest.
Here’s the rest from Indy Star:
The first stop was 16th Street and then they drove to a shopping center in Speedway and checked out several cars there without success.
The women were about to give up, they said, and were getting hungry. They saw a Papa John’s on Indiana Avenue and were thinking about getting food when they saw a Honda in a parking lot covered in snow.
Curry said she ran to the car and saw baby legs in the back seat and the baby’s face in the rear-view mirror, and her heart began racing, knowing this had to be the vehicle. The back car door was locked, and she feared the worst after hearing no sound. Delmar said she saw a couple officers inside a Blaze Pizza nearby and rushed to tell them about the baby.
“We’ve been alerted that the missing child may be located over here at the vehicle at 10th and Indiana,” an officer is heard saying at about 6:40 p.m. in police radio communications.
Seconds later, “We have custody of the child that’s missing.”
Delmar and Curry deserve medals, a crime documentary, and all the accolades for their efforts. Salute!