Kidnapped Darlington girl found safe
Wed, 14 Jul 2010 15:42:28 GMT —
A five-year-old Darlington County girl who police say was kidnapped by her biological mother has been found safe.
Around 8:30 Wednesday morning, Justice "Deaja" Peterson's legal custodian and grandmother called 911 to report her missing from their Sampit Road home in Hartsville.
"I (felt) like the whole world caved in on me," said the girl's grandfather, David Steen.
By mid-morning, an Amber Alert was issued and police had identified the child's biological mother and another man as the suspects.
Around 3:00 p.m., a relative of the male suspect dropped Deaja off at the Lee County Sheriff's Office. She was unharmed.
The mother, Kimberly Steen, 25, and Johnathon Smith have not been arrested, but they are wanted in connection with the little girl's kidnapping.
As authorities were looking for the child this morning, police issued an emergency protective order for Deaja's 4-year-old brother who was removed from Steen's home by social workers.
After she was dropped off, Deaja was also placed in emergency protective custody.
If you have any information on the kidnapping, you're asked to call the Darlington County Sheriff's Office at 398-4501.