A missing 7-month-old Florida girl was found alive in a box under her babysitter’s bed, authorities said Thursday morning. Investigators searched the home of Susan Elizabeth Baker and found Shannon Dedick hidden in a box under her bed. Items surrounded the box in an attempt to hide the child.
Authorities plan to charge Baker, her husband James Arthur Baker, and the child’s mother Chrystina Lynn Mercer in the case. Police don’t believe Shannon’s father James Russell Dedrick was involved.
Shannon’s parents reported her missing around 11 a.m. Saturday and told authorities they last saw her around 3 a.m. After searching woods near Mercer and Dedrick’s home, investigators asked to search the Baker’s home. “They gave us consent to search the home and found the baby in a box under a bed, with stuff pushed around the box to hide the baby,” Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock said Thursday morning.
Shannon was placed in protective custody and taken to a hospital but appeared to be healthy. “Statistically speaking this should not have ever happened, that we found this child alive, especially after so many days. Time was against us,” Haddock said.
Court records show Susan and James Baker were suspected in the disappearance of their 3-year-old son Paul Leonard Baker in 1987. Paul disappeared from the Baker’s South Carolina home on March 5. He was never found and the Baker’s were never indicted.
When the couple reported their son’s disappearance, authorities took their 6-year-old daughter into state custody. The girl had been severely beaten and Susan Baker was charged with assault and battery with intent to kill. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The sentence was suspended to 80 days.
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