AKRON, Ohio -- Shauntay Jeffery spent five hours unable to do more than pray for the safe return of her 2-year-old daughter. The alleged abductor's phone call only made the wait worse.
Her daughter, Lanaysia, was outside the family's Lake Street home playing with her siblings at about 8 p.m. Monday when word reached Jeffery that the girl was taken by her aunt.
Police say the relative may have been angry over a $15 debt owed to her.
"All types of things were running through my head," Jeffery said. "I was just trying to block it out and pray to God that my daughter would make it home safely."
It took a massive citywide search by police before little Lanaysia was reunited with her mother, sister and brother. She was not harmed.
The baby's aunt, Bianca Martin, 21, and her boyfriend, Tremaine Watters, 24, were being held in the Summit County Jail on an abduction charge.
Jeffery said her children, Laniya, 5, Lamont'tier, 4, and Lanaysia were outside their apartment for only a few minutes before she went to check on them. Suddenly, the older children were shouting "Auntie Bianca took Lanaysia."
"I thought, 'Why would she take my daughter without my permission?' " Jeffery said.
That's when the mother called Martin's cell phone. At one point, she said, Martin issued a threat: "If you call the police, I will kill her little dumb ass."
Jeffery immediately called 911 and the search began.
Police issued a reverse 911 call to area residences and checked several addresses of relatives. The child was subsequently found inside a home on Pressler Road along with Watters and Martin, police said. Martin is the sister of Lanaysia's father.
Jeffery said she does not know the motive for the abduction, but speculated it may be over a relative who owed Martin money. She said her only concern was seeing her daughter safe.
"It was the best feeling in the world. Who wants to lose their children?" Jeffery said.
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