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Solon police investigate ‘person of interest’ in connection to unidentified baby found at Cleveland bus stop

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 8:23 PM EDT
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SOLON, Ohio (WOIO) - A woman believed to be a person of interest in the mysterious discovery of an unidentified baby at a Cleveland bus stop was spotted Wednesday in Solon.

The Solon Police Department responded to Solon Square, a shopping center, on Aurora Road after a tipster reported the sighting shortly after 8:00 a.m.

“Surely it’s of interest to the community in that there’s a baby out there that nobody really knows exactly who she is or who the mother is,” said Lt. Bill Vajditch. “We want to help answer those questions. That’s what our role was today.”

In bodycam footage obtained by 19 News, the woman appears to remain calm while talking about a wide variety of topics.

At one point, an officer is heard asking how old the baby is.

“Well, the baby exited my womb this year,” she replied.

But after more than three hours of questioning, the woman was not taken into custody.

“The RTA police [were] the actual agency that had authority on that,” Vajditch said. “Children Family Services was also very interested obviously, but as far as we know in Solon today, this individual didn’t commit a crime.”

In other words, police cannot bring someone in for no apparent reason.

The woman did not identify herself during the questioning.

The baby, who appears to be about 6-months-old, is safe and in foster care, said Cuyahoga County spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan.

Transit police said they received a report of a man holding a naked baby around 8:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Officers said the man did not provide any information about the baby or any evidence of a relationship to her.

He was eventually identified as 67-year-old Bennie Anderson and arrested on an unrelated warrant and charged with resisting arrest, obstructing official business, child abuse or neglect, and use of force.

He was released on Tuesday, according to Cuyahoga County Jail records.

A short time later, RTA police released photos of the female wanted for questioning. She was seen by officers in the area at the time of the incident and photographed with an empty stroller.

Investigators said Anderson claimed that woman was his wife. She told police the same thing and claimed to be the child’s mother.

But she also refused to give officers her name and couldn’t provide any details or evidence suggesting she was the little girl’s mom.

As was the case on Wednesday, she was not taken into custody after the initial incident on Saturday.

Police and other agencies are still asking for the public’s help in identifying her by name; such information could help prove or disprove her relationship to the child.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Cuyahoga County Division of Children Family Services hotline at 216-696-KIDS, 9-1-1, or your local law enforcement agency.

Note: 19 News does not typically show images or video of people questioned, then released by police without being charged. However, given the request by law enforcement seeking the public’s help in identifying these individuals, a decision was made to publicize the photos and video contained in this story.

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