For The Tribune
An 11-month-old girl, reported as being abducted by her non-custodial father, was found unharmed after a daylong search by Bartholomew County sheriff’s deputies.
A member of the noncustodial father’s family notified searchers Friday afternoon that Kairo Berry was safe with her at an apartment complex in the 2200 block of Marr Road, Sheriff Matt Myers said.
That followed a nearly all-day search in which deputies were looking for the non-custodial father, Myles Crenshaw, 26, of Seymour, who was accused of taking the child from her mother early Friday, deputies said.
At mid-afternoon, Crenshaw’s relative told deputies she had been in contact with him and that the child was with her and unharmed, Myers said. However, she said Crenshaw was afraid to turn himself in, Myers said.
Deputies went to the Marr Road area and set up surveillance before contacting the family member to pick up Kairo, Myers said. Family members told investigators that Crenshaw had left, but deputies — using the surveillance — suspected Crenshaw was still there, Myers said.
Detective Jason Williams and Capt. Brandon Slate found Crenshaw hiding in a laundry room storage area of the apartment complex, Myers said.
Crenshaw had a deep cut on his arm but would not tell deputies how he was injured, Myers said. He was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital for treatment and was to be brought to the Bartholomew County Jail later Friday night, Myers said.
Deputies arrested Crenshaw on six preliminary charges:
Battery with a deadly weapon.
Interfering with a 911 call.
Intimidation with a deadly weapon.
More charges might be pending depending on the continuing investigation and decisions by the Bartholomew County Prosecutor’s Office about the case, Myers said.
The abduction was reported about 7 a.m. Friday at the Hillview Mobile Home Park, 90 N. National Road, in the sheriff’s department jurisdiction, where the child’s 29-year-old mother lived with five children, the sheriff said.
The child’s mother told deputies that Crenshaw, her ex-boyfriend, had walked into her home and battered her with a weapon, and made threats to harm Kairo, Myers said.
The mother was able to get out of the home with four other children and called police, but Crenshaw took the 11-month-old and left on foot, investigators said.
Statewide alerts about the missing girl were sent out to law enforcement and deputies, and officers throughout Columbus combed the area trying to find the girl, Myers said.
Bartholomew County had sent out an emergency alert Friday trying to find the missing 11-month-old child, who had last been seen wearing a pink pajama top and black and white pajama shorts. That alert said Crenshaw threatened to drown the child and was believed to have an unknown type of weapon.
Special Deputy Jim Ogilvie searched the area by helicopter and sheriff department K-9 Bolt attempted to track Crenshaw from the mobile home park.
Deputies also learned that Crenshaw might have harmed another individual earlier, and that matter also was being investigated as deputies went from house to house in downtown Columbus, and different apartment complexes and homes on the northeast part of Columbus and Bartholomew County, based on tips and information gathered from the public, Myers said.
The sheriff’s department was just about to issue an Amber Alert about 3:45 p.m., in addition to the Everbridge emergency notifications already issued, when Crenshaw’s relative called the sheriff’s department about Kairo, Myers said.
The 11-month-old child was turned over to the custody of Child Protective Services, Myers said.
The mother and four children were housed in a shelter throughout the day Friday as investigators searched for Crenshaw, and remained there Friday night, Myers said.
The mother declined medical treatment despite having visible signs of injury, investigators said.
Detectives Chad Swank and Jason Lancaster are continuing the investigation — including what happened to the weapon that Crenshaw was believed to have had — as deputies pursue a 72-hour hold on the suspect to give investigators more time to complete the case, Capt. Dave Steinkoenig said.
Myers said he was grateful for the assistance from all the police agencies who were looking for the child Friday, and for the public’s tips, texts and calls that helped lead them to the child, he said.
Myers also said he wanted to thank the family member for calling the sheriff department about the child’s whereabouts.
“The community did everything it could to help,” he said.