County police issued an alert yesterday for a missing 4-year-old boy and his aunt, two days after the mother was arrested on a shoplifting charge and allowed to hand over the child to her sister.
The mother, 29-year-old Jennifer Guthrie, was arrested at the Nordstrom department store Tuesday afternoon and allowed by security officers to give the boy, Patrick Michael Neary, to her sister, police said.
After Guthrie was released, she returned to the room at the Hill Motel in Millersville where the three had been staying. She reported the boy missing when her sister, Holly Despeaux, did not return, said Officer Charles Ravenell, a police spokesman.
Police said Despeaux has a history of drug violations and was last seen in a white 1999 Dodge Durango.
Detectives have talked to friends and acquaintances of the sisters, who are from the Glen Burnie area, Ravenell said.
Despeaux was described as white, 5 feet, 7 inches tall and about 125 pounds, with light brown hair in a short bob. The boy, 3 feet tall and about 48 pounds, has short, light brown hair and blue eyes.
Their pictures were posted on the Internet at www.missingkids.com in the file for Maryland and under the name Neary.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 410-222-3588 or 410-222-8610.