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Odessa McCormick Arrested
December 6, 2009 permalink
Crown ward Odessa Moriah McCormick, wanted since her escape from an Oshawa group home last month, abducted a baby and was arrested a day later. With breakneck speed, news sources have done a Stalinist rewrite, so that searches on "Odessa McCormick" point to articles without her name. Her photo is to the right, and two news stories are enclosed below.
Toronto baby and girl, 14, missing
Sat Dec 5, 9:24 AM
CALGARY (CBC) - A 14-year-old girl has been missing with her roommate's baby boy since Friday evening.
Odessa McCormick left her highrise apartment at 720 Tretheway Dr. with 10-month-old Kamren Cunningham, between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, Toronto police reported in a news release. At the time, the child's mother, who is McCormick's friend and roommate, was at work. The building is located near Jane Street and Lawrence Avenue West.
The girl was last seen pushing the baby in a "Graco" beige and black checkered stroller, carrying a diaper bag.
She is described as black, with a light complexion, about five feet, five inches tall (165 centimetres) and 80 to 100 pounds, with black, shoulder-length hair. She was wearing grey track pants and a waist-length black winter jacket.
The baby is also black with a medium complexion. He is a little under two feet tall and 20 to 30 pounds, with black curly hair. He was wearing a black "Rocawear" jacket, red and white Jordan shoes, a grey tuque and black mittens.
Police have not issued an Amber Alert as they do not believe the baby is in any danger. They said Friday that the situation remains a missing person case and not an abduction. Anyone with information is asked to call 12 Division of the Toronto police at 416-808-1200.
Missing baby found; teen charged
Alexandra Posadzki Staff Reporter, 2009/12/05 19:42:39
A 14-year-old girl is facing an abduction charge following the disappearance of a 10-month-old infant from his home Friday evening.
The infant boy and the teenager were both found around 4 p.m. Saturday at 29 South Station St., near Lawrence Ave. W. and Weston Rd.
"It was a great end to this very trying 20 hours," said Staff Sgt. Ed Roseto of Toronto police.
Kamren Cunningham went missing from 720 Trethewey Dr., near Lawrence Ave. W and Weston Rd., between 7 and 8 p.m.
Initially police were treating the incident as a missing person case, but Supt. Brody Smollet told reporters Saturday that investigators believed the suspect took the infant from his mother's home without permission.
After almost 24 hours, the boy has been reunited with his mother, Kirsten Cunningham-Samuel.
"She (the suspect) said she was going to take the child out for a walk and the babysitter didn't realize that the mother hadn't given her permission to do that," said Det. Vern Small.
The baby's mother said the boy's things were missing from the apartment, as well.
"All his clothes are gone. All his formula's gone. All his diapers are gone," Cunningham-Samuel said when she spoke to reporters earlier in the day, appealing for anyone who knew of her son's whereabouts to come forward.
The teenaged girl was seen pushing the infant in a stroller, carrying a diaper bag.
Believing the baby to be in potential danger, police spent Saturday going door-to-door in the apartment complex, interviewing neighbours.
"We do not believe that the 14-year-old girl is capable of taking care of this child," said Smollet.
Police said they were relieved that Cunningham and the teen have been found.
"We appreciate the community assisting us in locating her. If it wasn't for the public we wouldn't have found her as quickly," said Small.
An Amber Alert was not issued in this case, despite the revisions made to the alert system this fall.
The changes, which were made following eight-year-old Tori Stafford's abduction and death, give police more discretion in deciding whether an alert is needed.
Smollet explained that the alarm was not sounded on Friday because police originally believed they were dealing with a missing persons case.
"We were only concerned there were missing people," he said. "And we don't do Amber Alerts for missing people."
Prior to the pair being located, Smollett said police were planning to issue the alert later on Saturday.
The teenage suspect is scheduled to appear in court at Old City Hall Sunday morning. She is charged with abducting a person under 14 years of age.
With files from Canadian Press
Source: Toronto Star
Addendum: Odessa's father has come forward to assist her. He was forcibly separated from her when she was three, and says her mother died soon after the separation.
Twist in baby drama
Man claiming to be accused teen's dad wants to be reunited with girl he lost 12 years ago
By ROB LAMBERTI, SUN MEDIA, Last Updated: 7th December 2009, 2:25am
Guards twice admonished an anxious man and his wife yesterday for trying to communicate with the 14-year-old teen charged with abducting a baby boy.
The man's search of more than a decade for her ended in the cramped confines of Old City Hall's 101 court.
He claims the teen is his daughter, lost to a court challenge initiated by the maternal grandmother about a dozen years ago. He said the girl's biological mother is dead.
Yesterday he and his wife, the girl's stepmother, tried to tell the girl they are her parents.
The girl looked twice at the man and there was no semblance of recognition in her eyes. She was, after all, about three when she was handed over to her maternal grandmother, who lives in Guelph. Shortly after her birth, the girl's biogical mom died, the man said.
But he recognized her.
"Of course," the man said. "Yeah, I raised her from when she was born ... That's when her grandmother took me to court to get her.
"I was trying to tell her I was there," the father said.
"I've been looking for her for 12 years," he said. "I always thought she was being taken care of by her grandma and obviously she wasn't."
He said he's not sure if she understood that he is her dad.
"I don't think so. I don't know," he said.
Before the teen's case was heard, the couple wrote a short letter explaining who they are and duty counsel agreed to pass it on to the teen. The girl was remanded into custody and is to appear in a North York court this morning.
Police have accused the the teen of vanishing with 10-month-old Kamren Cunningham from an 18th floor apartment at 720 Trethewey Dr. between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday. She's charged with abduction of a child under 14 years. The girl is also wanted by Toronto and Durham police for other unrelated charges.
"She needs to know that she has her dad and that he's been looking for her," the step-mother said. "We don't know what her life has been for the past 12 years."
The teen's dad and his wife said they didn't know where she was until they heard her name on the television during breakfast Saturday. Her identity must now be withheld by law.
"They told her her dad was dead," the stepmother said. "I just wish I could have taken her out of the (prisoner's) box. It's just so sad. And there's really nothing we can do right now to get her out."
Court heard the teen is a ward of the Durham Region Children's Aid Society.
"He's not just going to leave her," the stepmother said. "And we know where she is now."
Source: Toronto Sun
Addendum: The father's efforts to help his daughter have been rebuffed, and the Ministry of the Attorney General is participating in the Stalinist erasure of history.
Babysitter will stay in custody
By IAN ROBERTSON, Sun Media, Last Updated: 8th December 2009, 1:47pm
A 14-year-old babysitter accused of kidnapping a 10-month-old boy was ordered today to remain in the care of children's aid workers.
Prosecutor Aaron Del Rizzo told Justice of the Peace Donovan Robinson "we need to know more about her" before she is returned to court on a charge of abducting a person under age 14.
The slender teen, with her dark hair in a ponytail, who wore a black 'hoodie' jacket, calf-length dark slacks and loafers and large, golden hoop earrings, stood quietly in youth court beside a woman escort.
Del Rizzo warned any media in a Finch Ave. youth court not to report the identities or continue using any photos of the teen and the child, who is now regarded as a victim.
Robinson issued a publication ban Monday on pre-trial evidence and information that could identify them.
The little boy vanished from home while his mom was at work Friday. He was returned safely after the missing pair was found safe Sunday afternoon.
Legal aid defense lawyer Mary Birdsell told Robinson this afternoon that media outlets still have her client's name and photo.
She said a young person does not have the duty to enforce orders to the media to abide by the law.
Toronto Police initially released that information to the media as a "legitimate need," Del Rizzo told Robinson, adding he had "some discussions" today with a Crown official about alerting media not aware of the ban.
Another Crown told a judge on Monday that the rare issue of trying to get the girl's name and photo, plus identifying information about the child, cleansed from all Internet websites, was posed to officials in the Attorney-General’s office and senior Crown attorneys on Bay St.
The teen was ordered returned to court Dec. 16 to deal with all her charges.
Outside court, Birdsell refused all comment, citing confidentiality "under the circumstances."
She, the teen and her escorts walked passed a man who attended Old City Hall court after the teen's arrest Sunday, claiming to be her long-lost father.
He was holding a slip of paper in one hand in the hallway after today's adjournment but the group kept going without accepting his note.
Source: Toronto Sun