BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Police released the identity of a suspect they say kidnapped a 4-year-old boy in Essex.
Police say Washington D.C. resident, Laronica Gorham, 30, is charged with kidnapping and is being held on denied bail status at the Baltimore County Department of Corrections.
The incident happened on June 15. Police say Gorham snatched the toddler while he was playing outside around 8 p.m.
The victim’s mother told police she was watching her 4-year-old son play outside their home in the 1600 block of Renaissance Dr. When she went to the garage to get her son’s toy, she heard her son’s scooter hit the ground, but when she came back, she was unable to find her son.
Neighbors say they saw a woman take the boy and when they found them, she reportedly refused to let him go.
Neighbor Shawday Jenkins, her brothers and the boy’s parents chased the pair down on Back River Neck Road and pried the boy away.
“I saw her come out of Pizza John’s with the little boy,” Jenkins said. “Only thing she said is that she wanted an attorney, that was it. She wasn’t saying why she did it, what was the reason, or anything. She was quiet.”
Gorham has answered to judges in the past. She faced charges in D.C. for assault, drug manufacturing and more. Ultimately, those charges were dropped.
WJZ has also learned that D.C. Metro Police named her a critically missing person last year, when she disappeared for 22 days.
Police in Baltimore County are digging into why she was in the neighborhood–54 miles from her home.
“This woman is not from the area, we don’t know why she was there, there’s no connection between this victim or the suspect in this case,” said Shawn Vinson of the Baltimore County Police.
Charging documents say the suspect admitted to officers that she took the child, and he was not her son.
The little boy’s pants were ripped and he had a bruise on his leg, but is otherwise OK.
Court documents show Gorham is due in court next month.