Missing 7-month-old baby found safe

Posted at 8:33 PM, Sep 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-25 22:47:27-04

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. - A 7-month-old child, missing for over a day from Holland, has been located.

According to Holland Police, Sarah Baird contacted Child Protective Services about 7:30pm and notified them that she was at a fast food restaurant in South Haven and would wait for authorities to arrive to surrender the child.  South Haven Police responded and located Sarah and Josiah, the 7-month-old.

The child is now safe and is being turned over to CPS.   Sarah was also taken into custody on a warrant issued in this case for Custodial Interference.

Child Protective Services issued a court order to take custody of Sarah Baird’s three children. CPS has her three-year-old and five-year old in custody. Before a court hearing last Friday, police believe she took her 7-month-old boy and skipped town with her boyfriend, 22-year-old Shawn Williams. Holland Public Safety department issued a release Thursday saying the baby could be in danger.

Baird didn’t show up for the hearing last Friday because she claimed it was too short of notice to get there. The hearing started because of a petition from CPS over allegations that some of the tactics that Baird and Williams used to discipline her children were abusive.

Stephanie Williams is a former babysitter and friend who went to school with Baird from the age of 7 until they graduated high school. Williams lived with Baird and her kids for a short time from April 2010 until June, but she didn’t stay for long.

“My first week being at the house, she would come home to bathe the kids or get them fed or put them to bed. She was very short-tempered. She would curse at them a lot and even hit them. There was inappropriate spanking,” said Williams.

Baird didn’t show up at her preliminary hearing, but her husband and legal guardian of the three children, Quincy Baird did. In the findings from the preliminary hearing, court documents show  that Quincy has not seen his children since April, and is aware of the allegations of abuse to the children, but has not taken any steps to protect them.

Williams said Josiah’s biological father is Baird’s 22-year-old boyfriend, Shawn Williams, who she claims to have seen be abusive to Baird’s girls first-hand.

According to court documents FOX 17 obtained, Baird is accused of allowing her live-in boyfriend to beat her oldest daughter and Baird is accused of withholding food from her kids, forcing them to take cold showers and putting soiled underwear into their mouths as punishment.

According to court documents, prior to the hearing last Friday, CPS has intervened in the past. Baird has been given resources to correct her disciplinary actions and attend parenting classes among other things.