‘Severely Dehydrated’ Infant’s Abduction Triggers Amber Alert, Mother, Tiffany Cherry, Arrested At Boston Children’s Hospital

Tiffany Cherry, 36, has been arrested for endangering the life of her 2-and-a-half-month-old son by allegedly fleeing Pennsylvania with him after given advice by a Nurse Practitioner at the Geisinger Kistler Clinic that her son needed immediate emergency medical care, and ignoring said advice.

Rather than seek immediate care, Cherry drove more than five hours to Boston Children’s Hospital, a police spokesman confirmed on Sunday.

An amber alert went out shortly after the two went missing and triggered the Boston Children’s Hospital to call police.

Cherry is charged specifically with being a “fugitive from justice” after she failed to follow the advice of the nurse practitioner.

Cherry is also due to face charges on previous allegations of “prostitution and motor vehicle violations” in Dorchester and Somerville.

“Cherry was charged with sexual misconduct for a fee in 2002 in Boston and in 2010 in Somerville. In 2010, Cherry was charged with multiple motor vehicle violations, including speeding and driving without a license in Dorchester, according to the Boston police report.”

Cherry’s son is now in the hands of the state Department of Children and Families.

A multi-state Amber alert was issued when the nurse practitioner found Cherry had not brought her child to the emergency room. Instead, the fugitive mother fled on Interstate 84 to Boston.

Cherry is facing a number of convictions, from driving an unregistered vehicle to driving without a license to prostitution. Other minor offenses are also due to be heard at Court.

It appears the motive for fleeing was self preservation, as the numerous charges against Cherry meant that she would have been arrested and charged. But after the Amber alert was issued, Cherry did eventually bring her child to a hospital to be cared for. The fate of her son could have been far worse due to the immediacy of his needs, and therefore, she endangered his life by fleeing. What would have been possible convictions for misdemeanors have now become charges that will most certainly see jail time for Cherry.

It was the Geisinger Health Clinic that advised
The Geisinger Health Clinic had advised Tiffany Cherry that her son was very ill from severe dehydration. Instead of following their advice to bring her 2 1/2-year-old son to the emergency room, she fled. [Image by Handout / Geisinger.org]
Boston Children's Hospital
Tiffany Cherry eventually brought her son to the Boston Children's Hospital where he was treated and taken into protective custody by the state. Cherry is facing charges of child endangerment as well as a strong of other charges related to previous offenses including prostitution. [Image by Handout / ChildrensHospital.org]

What is an Amber Alert?


The Office of Justice Programs explains that the Amber alert system was introduced in 1996 as an “early warning system to help find abducted children.” AMBER stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. The alert allows local and interstate agencies to quickly and efficiently coordinate efforts to trace children who have gone missing, as it is the first 24 hours that are the most crucial after a child abduction.

The alert was also a tribute to the legacy of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was abducted and brutally murdered in Arlington, Texas. Starting off as a Texas-only system, the alert system was soon nationalized and has, according to CNN, resulted in more than 650 kids being rescued.

“Between the program’s inception in 1996 and July of this year, at least 656 children have been rescued because citizens saw or heard an Amber Alert, according to the center, which works with law enforcement, broadcasters and federal authorities on the nationwide program.”

The first success was in 1998 — two years after its adoption — when a motorist spotted the car which was mentioned in the alert and phoned police.

“I’m riding next to the car that you’re looking for! I can see the baby next to her!”

This most recent success of tracking down Cherry and her ill son underscores how important it is to have the Amber alert system in place and again illustrates the effectiveness of national cooperation in tracking down missing children.

[Image by Alex Wong / Getty Images]