PHOENIX, AZ (KPHO) — An Amber Alert issued in California came to an end in the far West Valley Wednesday evening, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies confirmed that 6-month-old Laylani Mosley and her grandmother, 57-year-old Carolyn Ferguson, were found in Tonopah after a Shell station clerk called MCSO to report the woman was acting strangely.
The clerk, Karin Akins, said her own maternal instincts kicked in when she observed something not quite right with the behavior of the woman.
Ferguson told her that her car broke down and while she claimed to be the baby’s mom, Ferguson couldn’t tell her anything about the baby, such as her birthday or where she was born.
Akins, who has a 2-year-old herself, says she had a horrible feeling in her gut as Ferguson’s behavior grew more erratic.
“She took the baby bottle and went to the cappuccino machine and filled it up with cappuccino and poured strawberry milk in with it and shook it up,” Akins said.
Akins said she called her boss, who learned of the Amber Alert in Orange County, CA. Then she called the police.
When deputies arrived at 411th Avenue and Interstate 10, they found the baby wearing an oversized diaper and Ferguson feeding it espresso coffee, MCSO said.
Deputies took the baby to the hospital just in case, but she appeared to be fine, thanks, in part, to the quick-thinking clerk.
Mosley’s family said they last saw the baby with Ferguson at around 9 a.m. on Wednesday at their Huntington Beach, CA, home.
Ferguson was last seen around 10 a.m. in Fontana, CA, authorities said.
Relatives said Ferguson has a history of mental illness and is in need of medication.
Police requested that the California Highway Patrol issue an Amber Alert for the child, Huntington Beach Police Lt. Mitchell O’Brien said.
An Amber Alert was then issued by the CHP in Orange County but not statewide, a spokesperson with CHP’s Orange County communications center said.
Ferguson will be booked at the Fourth Avenue Jail and if California officials decide to press charges, she’ll have to be extradited.
Meanwhile they’re working with the baby’s family to get the infant back home.
By Phil Benson & Lindsey Reiser