Cops: Mom who ran off with son arrested, boy found safe in Memphis

Tribune reporter

A woman who abducted her 21-month-old son last month has been arrested and the boy found safe in Memphis, Tenn., officials said.

Taneil Curtis, 32, took the child on Nov. 7 during a visit supervised by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services at a South Holland restaurant, according to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

Curtis asked her case officer if she could get a glass of water for her son, Dart said, then got up with the child and ran out the door.

"This visitation was supervised by a veteran staffer of one of our nonprofit partners, who immediately called 911, and police arrived within minutes," said DCFS spokesman Dave Clarkin.  "It is still under administrative review."

Curtis and the child got into a waiting U-Haul rental truck and fled, Dart said. The truck was later found by South Holland police, and officials determined it had been rented by Kirk Alexander, the mother's boyfriend.

Alexander, 35, was arrested for failing to register as a sex offender and remains in custody at the Cook County Jail, Dart said.

Before the boy was born, Curtis had already lost custody of three other children due to "substantial risk of physical harm," Dart said.

After giving birth to the boy in February 2011, she left the hospital with the baby without notifying state child welfare officials. With the help of the FBI, Curtis and her son were found in September in Hammond, Ind.

The boy had been under DCFS protection when she fled with him last month, Dart said. Officials determined that she had a sister in Memphis where investigators located the woman and child, officials said.

Curtis, of Harvey, was taken into custody in Memphis after arrest warrants were issued. An extradition hearing is pending, said a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office.
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