A Wichita grandmother has been arrested after police say the grandmother abandoned her 5-year-old grandson at a store after a shoplifting attempt went wrong, according to Sedgwick County Jail booking reports.
Kathleen Adel Williams, 41, is accused of leaving her grandson at a Kohl’s store on June 16. According to KAKE News, the grandmother was confronted after trying to leave the store with about $200 worth of women’s clothing.
After returning the clothes, the grandmother ran from the Kohl’s without her grandson.
Store security stayed with the boy after his grandmother ran, hoping someone would pick him up, reports KSN.com. Sadly, no one ever came to claim him.
The boy was placed into foster care, and on Friday, Judge Jefferey Syrios said he would remain there until the mother’s life and home situation improved.
District Attorney Marc Bennet said that efforts were made “to get in touch with people.” But according to the Wichita Eagle, no family members showed up to the boy’s hearing.
The boy’s mother, Tiffani Picciurro, 25, lives in Amarillo, Texas. She contacted the Wichita Eagle in June claiming she had been looking for her son. She claims that four years ago, when the boy’s grandmother moved from Colorado to Kansas, she allowed the grandmother to take her grandson with him.
She said she hadn’t seen her son since August 2011 when his grandmother took him and did not make any attempts to get him back from the grandmother as she wanted to keep it “a family, civil matter.”
“I just kind of left it up to – if he was supposed to come back, he would come back.”
She told a detective via email that her son’s grandmother “appeared to be avoiding contact.” After hearing her son was placed in foster care after the incident with his grandmother, she began looking for a ride to Wichita.
She has yet to attend any of the court hearings. Her court-appointed attorney said the mother was making attempts to get the boy back home that “in her mind” would work.
At Friday’s hearing, attorneys said that Picciurro had recently given birth to another child, tested positive for methamphetamine, and would be going through drug rehabilitation in Texas.
The boy’s father has yet to be found.
The boy’s grandmother is currently being charged with suspicion of child abandonment, theft, and probation violation. The grandmother is currently being held on $505,500 in combined bonds.
Records show that the grandmother had a previous history of theft convictions.
According to the Wichita Eagle, court records show the grandmother pleaded no contest in March 2013 to two counts of misdemeanor theft. Later that year, the grandmother was arrested again and charged with felony theft in both August and December.
The grandmother pleaded guilty in both of the 2013 cases and was sentenced to probation, which the grandmother recently violated and is currently being charged for.
The grandmother has also been convicted of possession of controlled substances and driving under the influence. The grandmother also has a long history with methamphetamine and marijuana.
Judge Syrios called the boy’s family “a chaotic mess,” citing the mother as the center of the issue.
What do you think of this boy’s situation? Should his mother have allowed the boy to go with the grandmother to Kansas knowing the grandmother had a long arrest record?
[Image via Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office]