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Parents of baby left at fire station arrested

A judge had ordered the child be removed from them because child protection investigators suspected neglect, authorities say.

Published July 1, 2006

TAMPA - The parents of a baby boy left at a fire station have been arrested, accused of refusing to turn over the child to state investigators and concealing his whereabouts.

Deputies say the baby's mother, Danelle R. Mitchell, 20, of 4501 10th Ave., and father, Tyee Spike, 20, of 9404 Windermere Lake Drive in Riverview, refused a judge's order that their 1-year-old boy be turned over to the Department of Children and Families, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Both were held without bail at the Hillsborough County Jail on charges of contempt of court and concealing a child contrary to a court order, arrests records show.

The baby, dressed in a baseball uniform, was dropped off at Tampa Fire Station No. 16 on Thursday evening.

Three women delivered the baby to a fire fighter. Police think those women are related to Mitchell, but the women did not give their names.

At first, a firefighter thought the baby needed medical attention, but then the women handed over the child and left, investigators say.

It wasn't until investigators found a business card for a Hillsborough sheriff's detective tucked inside the baby's diaper bag that they began to understand what had happened.

The baby, whose name has not been released, was supposed to have been turned over to investigators on Wednesday, said Detective Lisa Haber-Bosley.

Instead, the baby was delivered to the wrong agency and too late to comply with the order.

A judge had ordered the child be removed from the parents because child protection investigators suspected neglect, she said.

Mitchell had given birth to another child June 23, and that child was also taken by DCF, Haber-Bosley said. The parents were supposed to turn over the 1-year-old, but they told investigators they didn't know where the baby was, prompting deputies to open a missing person case, she said.

It wasn't clear why the parents didn't comply with the court order. A woman sitting on the porch at Mitchell's address declined to discuss the matter or her relationship to the baby's mother.

Times researcher Cathy Wos contributed to this report.

[Last modified June 30, 2006, 23:32:36]

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