Developments puzzle investigators in kidnapping case
Share with others:
New holes emerged Wednesday in the story provided by a Hazelwood woman accused of posing as a representative for a diaper company in a plot to kidnap an infant in Uniontown.
Yvonne Bradley, 46, told Uniontown and state police after they handcuffed her Tuesday that she took a 3-month-old child from the Heritage Inn on West Main Street in part because she was distraught over a miscarriage she had last week.
"I was so upset when I lost my son that the opportunity presented itself for me to give my love to another child," police quoted her as saying when they wrote an affidavit supporting her arrest.
But a medical test performed after those statements showed that she had not recently been pregnant, state police said. And an interview with another woman also caused troopers to doubt early theories that she had worked with an accomplice.
The new information puzzled investigators, at least one of whom wondered whether Ms. Bradley -- who has a criminal history of theft and forgery convictions dating back to the 1980s -- might be a depressed woman or a career criminal trying to gain sympathy as she moves through the justice system.
Police were called to the Heritage Inn about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday after a woman told officials Ms. Bradley took her 3-month-old baby from the hotel room while she went to a nearby Walgreens. The woman told police she met Ms. Bradley in the Pittsburgh area and Ms. Bradley claimed to work for the Huggies diaper company, arranging photo shoots with children who might be featured in the company's ads, said Trooper Stefani Plume, a spokeswoman for the state police in Uniontown.
Trooper Plume said the mother agreed to meet Ms. Bradley in Fayette County on the premise that they would shoot photos Monday and Tuesday. When the two went to a Walmart on Tuesday, a woman approached the mother and said that the company would not include her child in the Monday shoot but that they could stay at the Heritage Inn that evening and have photos taken Tuesday.
State police initially thought that woman might have acted as an accomplice to Ms. Bradley. The woman later told investigators that Ms. Bradley approached her in the store, claimed to have been from Huggies and said she needed help telling the mother that her child could not be in the Monday night photo shoot but could be in the one Tuesday, Trooper Plume said.
The mother and her child stayed in the Heritage Inn Monday night. When the mother called police to say Ms. Bradley had taken her child while she ran to the pharmacy Tuesday morning, police issued an alert to be on the lookout for Ms. Bradley. An officer found Ms. Bradley about a half-mile away. The child was unharmed.
At the time of the alleged kidnapping, Ms. Bradley was on probation for a 2010 case in which she pleaded guilty to theft, forgery and writing bad checks. A detective with the Allegheny County district attorney's office wrote in a criminal complaint that Ms. Bradley took a $6,720 check written out to a "Davin Strong" to a Huntington Bank, claimed it was signed by both him and her and then abruptly withdrew the money from her account, using the money to pay for food and to cover bills from a phone company and moving company.
Trooper Plume said it was "hard to tell" Wednesday whether Ms. Bradley might have mental health problems "or want people to think that" because she has a criminal history of deceiving people.
Ms. Bradley remained in the Fayette County Prison on $250,000 bond Wednesday. She is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing Tuesday on charges of kidnapping, unlawful restraint, interference with child custody and endangering the welfare of a child.
First Published July 12, 2012 12:00 am