Melissa Kelley, 33, was charged after ringing a doorbell of a complete stranger, Patricia Tillman, and handing over her 3-month-old son.
Footage shows Kelley as she rings the door, holding a carrier with her son in tow, in Volusia County, Florida, Action News Jax reported.
According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, she rang the bell multiple times before Tillman finally answered. After she opened the door, Kelley informed her that the boy’s father would come for the baby.
Tillman did not know who Kelley was but Kelley claimed she knew her. On a 911 call obtained by ClickOrlando, Tillman can be heard telling the dispatcher that Kelley “knew my name and everything.”
“She said ‘Your daughter is dating his daddy.’” Kelley pushed the carrier through the doorway and left it on the ground with the baby inside.
Kelley then informed Tillman not to touch the child as e he was infected with scabies and then promptly left. Tillman was shocked. “Some girl just came up and left her baby at my door,” she shared with the 911 dispatcher.
Tillman attempted to contact the baby’s father multiple times after Kelley left but he never answered. The baby’s father was later identified by police as 28-year-old Clayton Zinck. Tillman then called Zinck’s parents next, who picked up the phone but allegedly refused to wake up their son or let him know what had happened.
Police found how Kelley allegedly sent Zinck disturbing texts messages, which allowed them to further understand the situation.
“Please don’t make me throw this baby in the trash,” the mom allegedly wrote. In addition, the mom also sent him a message claiming she would use “drugs” to end her own life as Zinck didn’t want to date her anymore.
It was not made clear if these messages were sent prior to or after she left her son.
It was almost two weeks ago that authorities discovered the mom after tracking her phone and following her to a wooded area on Lightfoot Road and State Road 40.
She was arrested on charges of unlawful desertion of a child and neglect of a child. In the interim, the Florida Department of Children and Families took her son to a hospital, where he was treated for scabies.
Kelley was released from jail on a $2,000 bond.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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