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Posted: 11:04 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012
A 2-year-old boy is safe after police said he was away from his mother for more than a week. Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri talked with the child's mother as she left police headquarters Thursday night. She said the woman who had her son has watched him before. This time though she said that woman took her son but didn't return her calls for over a week. "Very scary. It was a wake-up call for me," Laquanda Burley, 25, said. Burley told Viteri she will not be giving her child to anyone but family from now on. Channel 2 Action News cameras were there Thursday night as EMS workers checked her son, Malachi, inside Atlanta police headquarters. Viteri saw the 2-year-old, alert and talking, just a half hour after his caregiver, Sylvia Franklin, handed him over to police. "We received a tip that babysitter and child were at Garnett Street MARTA station," said John Chafee, with the Atlanta Police Department. Investigators said Burley gave her son to Franklin on Nov. 26. Burley told Viteri that Franklin had watched Malachi before but this time it was different. She couldn't reach Franklin and couldn't find her son for more than a week. "This was the first time she kept him she didn't call. She didn't text me. It was like she didn't have no remorse for how I was feeling," Burley said. Family members at Burley's apartment complex said they had never met Franklin. Burley said she doesn't know where Franklin lives either. "Do you think if you hadn't contacted police you would have gotten your son back?" Viteri asked Burley. "No, not really, but I was praying and praying that I would find him," Burley said. After checking the 2-year-old at police headquarters, crews took him to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding as a precaution. "It made me think a lot, re-evaluate, come to my senses now. Not give him to anyone else but family," Burley said. Investigators said DFCS is involved in the case and it's possible a grandmother will take custody of the child for Thursday night at least.
Atlanta police said charges will not be filed.
A Channel 2 Action News investigation found that in Georgia, people who have a temporary protective order against them can still keep their weapons.
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