Mom Charged With Dumping Baby, Lying to Police

Disappearance of Mia Graci Thompson on Thursday set off an Amber Alert

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Illinois State Police issued an Amber Alert on Thursday morning for Kendra Meaker's daughter, Mia Graci Thompson. Rob Elgas reports.

    A 19-year-old mother was charged Friday with dumping her 3-week-old daughter along a rural road for 12 hours and lying to police about the baby's whereabouts, prompting an Amber Alert.

    Bond was set at $100,000 Friday for Kendra Meaker of Toulon, who is charged in Stark County with obstruction of justice and endangering the life or health of a child, the Journal-Star in Peoria reported.

    Meaker told a judge during a Friday court appearance that she had no job and no income, and said nothing else.

    Illinois State Police issued an Amber Alert on Thursday morning for Meaker's daughter, Mia Graci Thompson. Meaker filed a report with police that the baby girl was abducted from the back seat of her vehicle at the post office in Toulon, which is about 30 miles northwest of Peoria.

    Meaker eventually changed her story and told Illinois State Police and FBI investigators she left the baby on a roadside, Sheriff Jimmie Dison said. The baby was on the gravel roadside from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday as scores of police and volunteers searched for her.

    The two volunteer searchers who found the crying child and brought her to emergency workers.

    Meaker's aunt, Sandy Hollingsworth of Marseilles, is acting as spokeswoman for Meaker's family.

    "This has been a hellish 24 hours that our family has endured," Hollingsworth said.

    The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services said the baby was being cared for at a hospital. Meaker's 11-month-old daughter was with relatives.

    A telephone listing for Meaker was disconnected. Meaker is next due in court Oct. 12.

    Under Illinois' Safe Haven law, parents are allowed to relinquish custody of an unharmed newborn up to 30 days old to personnel at a hospital, emergency medical care facility, police or fire station.

    Parents can give up their child anonymously and without the threat of prosecution for abandonment.