Grandmother facing charges after allegedly kidnapping 6-month-old

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- A 6-month-old girl who went missing from her Southern California home Wednesday morning was found with her grandmother in the far West Valley, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities issued an Amber Alert in five Southern California counties Wednesday afternoon for Laylani Mosley.

She was found with her grandmother, 57-year-old Carolyn Ruth Ferguson, at a Shell gas station near Interstate 10 and 411th Avenue in Tonopah.

Ferguson and the baby were reportedly dropped off at the gas station by a mechanic who saw that she was having car trouble on the highway.

A gas station clerk became suspicious of Ferguson and called authorities shortly before 6 p.m.

"Instead of giving her milk, she walked over with the bottle and filled it up with cappuccino," Karin Akins said. "Something didn't feel right. My mother instinct just didn't feel right at all."

Akins said she also noticed the baby's diaper was too big, and Ferguson seemed overheated and disoriented. Ferguson reportedly could not give an answer to a question about the baby's name.

Akins called her boss, who then found the Amber Alert online.

The sheriff's office, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and medical personnel responded.

Laylani and Ferguson were taken to West Valley Hospital in Buckeye as a precaution.

According to Maricopa County Superior Court documents, Ferguson was combative with medical staff and was disrupting other patients by singing religious songs. She was restrained with handcuffs.

She reportedly stated at the hospital that she was heading for her mother's home but did not know the address, and she asked where Laylani was and if the baby was being abused.

Court documents say Ferguson continued to exhibit irrational behavior and make incoherent statements after being transported to sheriff's substation in Avondale.

Ferguson was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail. She is facing felony charges of child abuse and custodial interference, and a misdemeanor charge of endangerment.

She is scheduled to appear in court July 10.

Laylani's mother was reportedly sleeping around 9 a.m. at the family's Huntington Beach home on Wednesday when Ferguson left with the baby.

She reported that her daughter had no known medical issues but was being breastfed. Ferguson did not take any baby products with her, according to court documents.

Authorities said Ferguson has a history of mental illness and had not been taking her medication.