SHERIFF FINDS ABDUCTED CHILD
SAFE IN MEMPHIS
Friday, December 7, 2012 — A 21-month-old child, who was believed to be in danger after his mother abducted him for the second time, was found safe this morning in Memphis, Tenn., according to Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart.
Taneil Curtis, 32, of Harvey, with four outstanding arrest warrants, abducted her 21-month-old son last month during a supervised Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) visit in South Holland and a warrant was issued for her arrest.
During that visit at a local restaurant, Curtis asked the IDCFS case aid if she could go to the drink area for water for her son. When Curtis got to the drink area, she ran out the door with the child. Curtis was able to get into a U-Haul truck and flee before being caught.
The U-Haul truck was later found by South Holland investigators and found to be rented by Kirk Alexander. Alexander, who has a dating relationship with Curtis, was arrested on failing to register as a sex offender. Alexander, 35, is currently in custody at the Cook County Jail.
This is not the first time Curtis took this child. After giving birth to him in February 2011, she left the hospital with the child without notifying IDCFS. Curtis has lost custody of three other children due to substantial risk of physical harm. With the assistance of the FBI, both were found nearly a year later in Hammond, IN. That child has since been in IDCFS custody.
This priority case is a great example of strong investigative work by several units within the Sheriff's Office. Officers in the Sheriff's Central Warrants Units, Sheriff's Police investigators and analysts from the Sheriff's Office Intelligence Center worked in tandem to develop leads and locate Curtis. The round-the-clock attention to this case made the investigation a quick success so that the child can be returned safely.
"Today I sent Governor Quinn a letter regarding our investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the abduction of this child'" said Sheriff Dart. "By separate letter, I have requested State Auditor General Holland to undertake a comprehensive audit of the IDCFS's policies and procedures. I believe an audit must be undertaken to determine the extent to which applicable policies and procedures were complied with. If the audit reveals instances of non-compliance, immediate remedial measures must be instituted."