Video: Abducted baby found safe

updated 10/5/2009 7:33:18 PM ET 2009-10-05T23:33:18

A kidnapped Tennessee newborn and three siblings are in foster care after allegations that a family member tried to sell the infant, sources familiar with the case told The Associated Press.

Two officials confirmed the allegations were made but spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the case.

Week-old Yair Anthony Carillo was recovered safely Friday, three days after he was taken from his home. The state has taken custody of the children away from his mother, 30-year-old Maria Gurrolla.

Spokesmen with the Department of Children's Service and the FBI declined to comment on the baby-selling allegations, first reported by WTVF-TV.

Tammy Renee Silas of Alabama is in custody on a federal kidnapping charge.

Among the questions still unanswered is whether a woman who posed as an immigration agent and stabbed the baby's mother was working alone.

Child welfare officials officially would say only that Gurrolla's children were placed in foster care for "safety" reasons. The department said in a statement Monday that a juvenile court hearing is expected in Nashville Tuesday.

"Like everyone in Tennessee and beyond, we want this episode to have the happy ending it deserves," Commisioner Viola P. Miller said. "We, as much as anyone, want to see these children reunited with their family and out of state custody."

Meanwhile, investigators who had been focused on finding Yair are working to piece together exactly what happened and who was involved, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kristin Helm said.

Alabama woman charged
Silas, 39, of Ardmore, Ala., was charged with kidnapping and remained in federal custody Monday, two days after police said they found Yair at her home about 80 miles south of Nashville near the Tennessee line. A car that police said she rented was seen on a surveillance video following Gurrolla before the attack, and the car rental information led police to her home.

There was no indication Gurrolla knew her attacker, and officials have said she and her baby were targeted when she visited a state office about receiving assistance under the Women, Infants and Children food program.

Silas has not been charged in the brutal attack on Gurrolla, who was choked and stabbed several times, including in the neck and chest. Her cell phone was taken, forcing her to run to a neighbor for help. When she returned, the baby was gone. Law enforcement would not say whether more charges would be filed, citing the ongoing investigation.

Gurrolla, 30, told investigators she had never seen the woman who stabbed her. She said she heard the attacker use her phone to call someone and say in Spanish, "The job is done" and that the mother "was dying."

Helm declined to talk about whether authorities suspect someone else was involved.

Boyfriend says suspect wanted child
Police have not released a motive, but Silas' live-in boyfriend, Martin Rodriguez, told The Associated Press that she said she could not have children and wanted to adopt a child from a relative who was going to jail.

She told him she was going to El Paso, Texas, to get the child, and he said she had a newborn with her when he picked her up from the Huntsville, Ala., airport Tuesday.

Federal court records do not list an attorney and a court appearance has not been scheduled for Silas.

Department of Children's Services spokesman Rob Johnson declined to talk specifically about the Gurrolla case but said taking children into custody after a kidnapping is not necessarily standard procedure.

He said the caseworkers saw something in this situation that made them concerned enough that they felt the safest thing to do was find a foster home for the children. He declined to say what caseworkers were concerned about or whether complaints had been filed against the family.

He said most of the time when DCS takes children, they are eventually returned and the agency always explains to the family what they can do to regain custody.

"DCS is acting with an abundance of caution," he said.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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