Kidnapping suspect grabs 5-year-old girl while playing in Waco yard, police say

Kurtis Quillin reports.

The Waco Police Department announced Wednesday it had arrested a woman for kidnapping a young girl.

According to police, Latonya Monique Kelsey, 36, was walking in the 2900 block of Morrow Avenue in Waco around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday when she saw a group of kids playing in a yard while being watched by their mother. The mother noticed Kelsey acting strange and called her children back inside, police said. But, before the kids were back inside, Kelsey approached and grabbed a five-year-old girl and started running with her, according to Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton.

Swanton said the mom went after Kelsey and child -- shouting for the girl to fight back. The girl fought and caused Kelsey to let her go and run away, Swanton explained.

"Another family member followed Ms. Kelsey until officers arrived and made an arrest," Sgt. Swanton said.

Police said it was unclear why Kelsey grabbed the girl. 

"It is known that Ms. Kelsey is a mental health consumer," Sgt. Swanton said. "The child was not harmed during the incident."

Kelsey was charged with kidnapping and traffic warrants. She was booked into the McLennan County Jail. It did not appear that Kelsey knew any of the children.

The mother of the child, Misty Buhl, said she was trying to get the kids inside because it was getting cool and Kelsey was on the sidewalk behaving strangely.

"I said, 'O.K., well go ahead and move around, get going,'" Buhl said.  "She saw my daughter, my daughter stuck her hand out and went to give her a five and she grabbed my daughter and took off running."

Buhl chased Kelsey, yelling to her daughter, A'nari Bible, to start hitting her.  Kelsey eventually released Bible and Buhl held her until police arrived.

Now, Buhl said she's telling her kids to stop talking to anyone who isn't family.

"You never know what someone is doing," Buhl said.  "She could have hurt my daughter, she could have something in her hands to hurt my daughter."

© 2018 KCEN-TV


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