WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

UK Police release new information on toddler found on campus

By: Andy Cunningham Email
By: Andy Cunningham Email

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The University of Kentucky Police department has released more information about a missing child found on campus.

We first told you about the abducted child Thursday on WKYT news at 11. UK police recovered 17-month-old Alouette Day-Morena Baltierra after responding to a report of a suspicious person. The child had been reported abducted from the Los Angeles area on October 15.

At a news conference Friday morning, UK police chief, Joe Monroe, told us the child was found in the Joe Craft Center parking lot wearing very little clothing in a stroller being pushed by a woman claiming to be her grandmother. Chief Monroe says the girl was suffering from the beginning stages of frostbite and the woman she was with was not giving them any answers.

"She was very uncooperative, she was trying to hide the face of the child. She did not want us to question her about the child, other than she claimed it was her grandchild. She did not want to provide us any documents on who the child's parents were. She was just very uncooperative with our officers," said Chief Monroe.

UK Police have identified the woman as Maria-Baltierra Dejesus, 62, a resident of New York, and it does appear she is the child's grandmother, but local officials are waiting for confirmation from authorities in California.

That's where Los Angeles Police and the FBI have been searching for Alouette since her disappearance on October 15. Authorities here say neither the child or her alleged grandmother have a connection to Kentucky.

"It appears to just be a coincidence they ended up here," Chief Monroe said. "We are just glad we were able to find the young child safely and hopefully we can resolve this case as soon as possible."

Monroe said the woman first showed up at Good Samaritan Hospital with the child, looking for work as a doctor. According to police there is also a disbarred doctor out of San Diego with the name of Maria Baltierra-DeJesus, but they haven't confirmed if its the same person yet.

Staff at Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church in Lexington tell WKYT the two also showed up there Thursday afternoon.

"They were here for about two-hours, and just before they left Maria asked us if we could buy here a bus ticket to Louisville," Said Pastor Woody Berry.

Berry says that was just a number of reasons he felt obligated to contact authorities."

"I just knew something wasn't adding up," he said. "We even checked active Amber Alerts, then called UK Police."

The child was taken to a UK healthcare facility where she is expected to be okay. She is currently in the custody of Kentucky Child Protective services...until further proceedings take place to return the child to the state of California.

UK Police have charged the woman with endangering the welfare of a minor and custodial interference. She will be extradited back to California where she is wanted on felony charges.


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