On January 20, 2012, at 0743 hours, a frantic mother called the West Palm Beach Police Department to report her two-week-old infant was abducted from 1401 Village Blvd., apartment #534. The suspect was an acquaintance but her identity was unknown. Investigation revealed that the mother and the suspect met through a social networking website. The suspect sought the victim by claiming both were having newborns at the same time. The suspect advised she was depressed because her newborn was hospitalized in Miami-Dade County after birth. Thus, arrangements were made to have the suspect visit the mother and her newborn.
The defendant spent the evening at the mother’s home. The mother left two-week-old infant in bed as she showered. When the mother finished her shower she realized that Latonia kidnapped the infant and stole her cellular telephone. The area was saturated with police officers and an immediate description of the suspect and infant were provided. An AMBER alert and A Child is Missing (reverse 911) were activated.
The suspect was identified as Latonia Alvin. The investigation revealed that the previous evening, Latonia told several of her friends and family that she gave birth to her own newborn baby boy. She sent several friends a photo text message announcing the baby’s birth. Thus, the scope of the canvas was broadened to include interviews with Latonia’s family and friends.
A tipster saw the local news report about the abduction and notified police that Latonia and the infant were at 936 West 36th Street. When the Riviera Beach officers arrived, the infant was recovered unharmed and Latonia was arrested.
Post Miranda, Latonia initially denied she kidnapped the infant and claimed she was babysitting him for her friend. Latonia then stated she miscarried during the summer of 2011, and she told no one of the miscarriage. Thus, family and friends believed she was pregnant. Latonia eventually admitted to kidnapping the infant because she intended to introduce him to her friends and family as her own son. Latonia also admitted that she paid a friend $20.00 to pick up her and the infant. During the travels to Riviera Beach, they stopped at Walgreens and Latonia purchased items for the infant and changed his clothing. Latonia premeditated the kidnapping of the infant.
After this week’s trial, the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office successfully presented its case and today, Latonia was found guilty of Kidnapping and Interference of Child Custody