Mother of missing baby jailed; apartment searched - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Mother of missing baby jailed; apartment searched

By Jason Miles - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Action News 5 was the only station on the scene as a police cadaver dog hit on a scent Tuesday afternoon inside an apartment in the Raleigh Village complex on Yale Road where nine-month-old Lauryn Dickens was reported missing by her mother late last week.

"Don't have a comment," said one detective.

Police were tight-lipped about their search warrant, but a crime scene technician removed a number of paper sacks and baby toys from the apartment.

No body was recovered and there was no sign of 19 year-old Shakara Dickens, who claims she gave her baby to a total stranger more than a week before she reported little Lauryn missing.

"She didn't want the baby, apparently," said neighbor Phyllis Davenport.

She and others have tried to rationalize the mother's actions.

"She need to be checked out," said Davenport. "Maybe going through depression and just couldn't handle it."

Dickens said she gave up little Lauryn after speaking with the baby's father, Benjamin Norfleet, who is in jail and told police he knew nothing about it.

The latest developments are getting national exposure. HLN's Nancy Grace show included a segment.

People across the country now wonder why a mother would wait so long to report a missing baby and exactly where nine-month-old Lauryn Dickens might be.

Shakara Dickens was booked into the jail Tuesday night. No charges have been filed against her at this point.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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