Springfield, MO -- (1/9/2018) UPDATE: Waite A. Showalter, 37, of Springfield, Missouri, has been charged today with child kidnapping, stealing a motor vehicle, and child abuse, for events which occurred on January 3, 2018.
On January 3, 2018, Greene County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Kum & Go located at 4996 S. State Highway 125, on Highway 60 in Greene County. The aunt of a five month old left her niece in the car for a quick stop at the convenience store. While she was inside, the car was stolen with the baby inside.
The baby was found safe approximately two hours after being taken to Christian County.
Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson wants to remind the public that car thefts are too common in Greene County and in many cases the stolen car is unlocked. Please remember to lock your car, take the keys with you, and do not leave valuables in the car.
This case also emphasizes the dangers of leaving a child in a vehicle which is unattended and running.
Mr. Patterson wants to thank the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, the Ozark Police Department, and all law enforcement agencies who assisted in searching for this child. Mr. Patterson also wants to thank the members of the public who responded to the Amber Alert.
Mr. Patterson cautions that the charges contained in the felony complaint are merely allegations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court. The defendant is currently being held in the Greene County Jail with a $60,000 bond.
PREVIOUS STORY -- (1/8/2018) On Friday around 4 p.m., Ozark Police Department Officers, Greene County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Christian County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to the 1200 block of East Lily Drive, following up on information pertaining to a stolen vehicle investigation and the abduction of a 5-month-old baby, which occurred on January 3, 2018 in Greene County.
A joint investigative effort between the Ozark Police and the Greene County, Missouri Sheriff’s Office led law enforcement to an address on East Lily Drive, where the suspect in the initial case was believed to be staying. Upon law enforcement arriving at the scene, two individuals were taken into custody in reference to the stolen vehicle and abduction of the infant.
At this time, OPD Detectives continue to work jointly with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office following up on leads pertaining to the investigation. If you have any information pertaining to the suspect(s) of the stolen vehicle or regarding the Amber Alert, please call 911 or contact the Ozark Police Department at 417-581-6600 or the Greene County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 417-829-6230.
(Edited Media Release)