Charges filed against mother of missing 9-month-old girl - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Charges filed against mother of missing 9-month-old girl

By Nick Kenney and Jason Miles

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The mother of a missing nine-month-old girl was charged Thursday.

Moments before her 48-hour hold was set to expire, Memphis Police charged 19-year-old Shakara Dickens with aggravated child neglect and endangerment and false reporting in connection with the disappearance of Lauryn Dickens.

In the media release announcing the charges against her, police said, "the investigation revealed that Ms. Dickens' account of the event was not true and the whereabouts of the child are unknown at this time."

Dickens had been in police custody but not charged since late Tuesday afternoon.

Crime Scene and Homicide investigators searched another home at West Hickory Bluff for anything that might lead them to the missing girl.  The address is associated with Shakara Dickens.

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin said early Thursday that Dickens would face criminal charges.

"We will formally charge her," said Godwin.  "She will not be going home tonight."

Godwin said Lauryn Dickens' whereabouts are a complete mystery and her safety is unknown.

"My gut tells me that it's not good," Godwin said.  "I hope that I'm wrong."

Tuesday, a police cadaver dog detected human remains at an apartment in Raleigh, another address associated with Shakara Dickens, from which various baby items were pulled.  No remains were found.

On West Hickory Bluff, neighbors watched in disbelief as investigators searched for clues in an attempt to close the case.

"It's a shock," said neighbor James Seiber.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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