Two women and an armed man stormed a home wearing masks and kidnapped an infant one of the women had given up for adoption, authorities alleged Sunday. The baby was found unharmed at a military base three states away.
Investigators found the 5-month-old girl early Sunday at Fort Bragg, N.C., and planned to file state kidnapping charges against her biological mother, Jamie Kiefer, and related charges against the child’s biological aunt, Rikki Swann, said Special Agent Jason Pack, an FBI spokesman in Jackson.
“Apparently it was related to the adoption of the baby,” Pack said. “Apparently Ms. Kiefer had changed her mind about the adoption.”
Authorities were seeking a man who had a gun during the invasion and a third woman who raided the northern Mississippi home, Pack said. Swann did not directly take part in the kidnapping, he said.
Investigators believe the three took Madison Erickson at gunpoint and tied up her adoptive mother, Jennifer Erickson, at the rural home in Itawamba County, near the Tennessee and Alabama lines about 200 miles north of Jackson.
Baby found on military base
The Mississippi Highway Patrol issued an Amber Alert, and the FBI and military police set up surveillance at the base housing unit of Amanda Bell, a friend of Swann’s, after finding a white van with Mississippi plates around 3 a.m. The Army base is about a 600-mile drive from Erickson’s home.
Investigators obtained warrants and entered the home at 5:40 a.m., Pack said. Kiefer’s 5-year-old son also was at the base residence when Kiefer and Swann were arrested, Pack said.
Bell, a friend of Swann’s, said Swann’s parents asked her to respond to a message left by The Associated Press at Swann’s home in Belton, also in northern Mississippi. She said she and Swann are married to soldiers who are deployed overseas.
Bell, who is not accused of wrongdoing, said Swann was hysterical when she called at 11:30 p.m. Saturday and told her about the kidnapping. Swann asked Bell if she could come visit from Atlanta, where Swann was on vacation.
Swann arrived alone and Bell soon went to bed. When she was woken by authorities, Kiefer and Madison were in her home, Bell said.
The baby was being examined at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg while the adoptive family traveled to the base. The women were being held by military police and were to be transferred to a civilian jail.
Numbers listed for Kiefer were disconnected.
Pack said the sisters are in their 20s and live in Belton, a town of about 2,000.
The sisters’ first court appearance was expected early this week, and Pack said they also could face federal charges.