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Kidnapped baby found unharmed

By
CLARK McKINLEY

SACRAMENTO -- Police recovered a kidnapped 7-month-old Sacramento boy Friday and arrested three suspects in an apparent scheme to replace a baby lost in a miscarriage.

Investigators who found Frankie Proctor unharmed in the home of an unsuspecting family believed he had been left there by one of the suspects.

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Police spokesman Michael Heenan said Melody Jane Rushton, 18, supposedly had miscarried and wanted to find a replacement child of about the same age, with a white mother and black father.

'Frankie fit the bill for what she needed,' Heenan said.

Officers charged that Rushton recruited a 17-year-old juvenile and Ethan Allen Walker, 20, to kidnap Frankie from his parents, Carol Gustin and Kenneth Proctor. They said she supplied the shotgun they allegedly used to storm Proctor's Oak Park home Monday and snatch Frankie from the couch.

'She told these young men that she had been accused of being a drug addict and therefore she was forbidden to ever set foot on the property or ever be around the baby,' Lt. Joe Enloe said. He added that she urged them, 'You go get my baby for me.'

Heenan said Rushton took the child to the Sacramento home of a boyfriend and told him he was the father. Since neither he nor his family had seen her in more than seven months, they believed the story, Heenan said.

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Detectives located the youngest suspect on a tip from an informant. After an interview with him early Friday, they arrested Rushton and Walker. The youth's name was withheld because of his age.

Heenan said officers found Freddie at the apartment where he was staying with Rushton's surprised boyfriend, who released the infant after investigators explained the case.

'He was in no way involved,' Enloe said. 'We are convinced that he thought that was his baby.'

Frankie was reunited with his parents at the UC Davis Medical Center after doctors determined that he was healthy and had been well cared for.

The three suspects were held on various kidnapping-related charges while investigators sorted out the case.

'We're convinced that at least one of those young men and maybe both of them thought they were in fact going to get her child,' Enloe said.

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