The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

January 13, 2014

Anderson child found safe in Florida, parents remain in custody

Amber Alert canceled

ANDERSON, Mo. — Six-month-old Mitchell Farris was found safe and healthy Sunday night in Miami, Fla., said Anderson police Chief Donavon Pierson.

The Amber Alert issued for the child was canceled around 7 p.m. Sunday.

The child’s biological parents, Preston Farris, 34, of Noel, and Anastasia McDaniel, 30, also of Noel, were being held in jail in Florida on suspicion of kidnapping.

Pierson said if they don’t waive extradition to Missouri, authorities will seek an extradition order.

Pierson said the baby was taken on Jan. 2 by the parents from the child’s great-grandfather, who lived in Anderson, and in whose custody the Missouri Division of Family Services had placed the child. He said authorities weren’t informed of the abduction until Friday.

Pierson credited the Amber Alert with helping lead authorities to the parents and the child, and Pierson said they police received more than 100 tips after issuing the alert.

“Without the Amber Alert and the hard work of the people in my department, we wouldn’t have been able to find the child that quick,” he said.

Pierson was asked if there was an indication that the child was in danger of harm, one of the criteria for issuing an Amber Alert.

“Just the clear circumstances of the case, with the parents committing a felony, that in itself brings up a dangerous situation for the child to begin with,” Pierson said.

He said the Amber Alert was the right call.

“I believe the Amber Alert was fully justified,” the police chief said.

Pierson said the child on Monday was in the custody of the Florida equivalent of DFS, with plans to return the child to DFS custody in Missouri.

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