TOULON, Ill. — The cries of a 3-week-old Toulon child lying near a gravel road helped volunteers searching the town to find her 11 1/2 hours after she was reported kidnapped Thursday morning.

On Friday, the child’s mother remained in the Stark County Jail on $100,000 bond, charged in connection with her daughter’s disappearance.

Kendra Meaker, 19, is facing one count of obstructing justice, a Class 4 felony under Illinois law that carries a prison sentence of one to three years. She also is charged with endangering the life and health of a child, in this case a Class A misdemeanor that carries a jail sentence of up to one year upon conviction.

Meaker must post 10 percent of her bond, or $10,000, to be released. If she is released pending trial, she is to have no contact with the child.

Meaker’s child, Mia Graci Thompson, was found about 7:40 p.m. Thursday on a rural gravel country road about a mile outside Toulon, 11 1/2 hours after she was reported kidnapped, Stark County Sheriff Jimmie Dison said.

“She was crying,” Dison said. “That’s how volunteers searching found her.”

The child was taken to a local hospital, Dison said. Had the child not been found before night had fallen, she likely would not have remained safe because of the elements and wild animals, he added.

A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services said the baby was being cared for at a hospital.

Dison said that Meaker had her other children with her.

“In my opinion, she just found it too much trouble to take care of (the baby),” he said.

Meaker reported at 8:10 a.m. Thursday that Mia was abducted from in front of the Toulon Post Office. Illinois State Police issued an Amber Alert in response to the report. Toulon is about 65 miles southeast of the Quad-Cities.

Dison said he thought there was something wrong with Meaker’s story from the beginning.

“I asked her several times, ‘Did you deliberately do something with that baby?’ and she said no,” Dison said. “That’s where the obstruction charge comes from.

“Thankfully, the child is fine. However, the troubles for the family are just beginning.”

Meaker’s aunt, Sandra Hollingworth of Marseilles said the family has endured “a hellish 24 hours.”

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)

Locations

(53) comments

shannyforreal

wow rabbitrun, are you a man or a women? do you have children? are you a licensed therapist? have you ever read about post partum depression, or done research? I didn't say putting the baby in the ditch was a good idea, but when you have a screaming infant and you have the baby blues your mind can help you do strange things. do I think this child made the correct decision for her child, absolutely not. is it deplorable absolutely, should she get in trouble and lose her kids, again, absolutely, but she does need help. if that means parenting classes great. as a parent she needs help, and she obviously wasn't getting any. everyone needs help every once in awhile. am I saying have compassion for her actions, nope, I am saying have compassion period because you obviously lack it

jake3750

Thank God the baby was found before she froze to death or the animals got to her, but to protect her from here on out, she should not ber givren back to her mother, and her siblings should also ber taken away, and the POS mother should be steralized so she can never have any more kids!! she doesn't deserve them

Autumn

Let's see jail time for this baby's dad as well, who seems to have been the first to abandon this infant!

twiggy
twiggy

It will be interesting to follow the case. One way to do that is www.judici.com

rabbitrun107

To GETINVOLVED....if this baby had not been found in time and died....what would you call it? I would think it would be murder and because she left it there to die...I'd call that attempted murder. She put in in a ditch....not by the side of the road so she meant for it NOT to be found

twiggy
twiggy

I understand what you are saying, but I do not think you will see an attempt murder charge. If she had really intended to kill the baby, the baby would be dead. If she intended to kill the baby she would have stabbed, struck, poisoned etc. Then you would have a murder charge. Attempt murder, in many cases, is more difficult to prove than murder. You have to prove intent. you have to prove she intended to kill, not intended to abandon. She isn't going to get off with a slap on the wrist, however. Her bond in $100,000. That is a very high bond. She is in BIG trouble

rabbitrun107

Maybe but what did she think would happen to this baby by putting it in a ditch where she wasn't actually "seen" by anyone out in the elements and where animals could get to her??? If she wanted the child to be found, she would've put it somewhere where it was easy to spot and not out in the country. Besides by coming up with the story of someone kidnapping the child, and if the child would've died, people would''ve thought it was the kidnapper and not her. I truly believe she wanted the child dead. Proving attempted murder might be difficult in some cases but in this one it doesn't take a real smart person who knows the facts that she wanted this baby dead by how and where she was disposed of.

getinvolved

I wasn't the one who said it couldn't be attempted murder.... You might have meant Twiggy.

twiggy
twiggy

Yup, it was me. It's going to be interesting to see how this case develops over the coming week.
Maybe I should qualify what I said. She will never be convicted of Attempt Murder. Never. I suppose one could charge anything, but convict of Attempt Murder? Won't happen.

getinvolved

You're not a lawyer. You don't have all the facts about this case. You act like you know something that you cannot know. Honestly, it doesn't make you sound smart or knowledgeable. It just makes you sound like you want to sound smart or knowledgeable.

Attempt to Commit Murder is very difficult to prove. It's most certainly not impossible, and this woman's actions after dumping the child in a ditch would be good evidence. Would she be convicted, if charged? I don't know. Neither do you.

The State's Attorney can decide what to charge her with, with all the information he has. Whether she could be convicted or not, he can decide not to charge it. Neither you nor I will know enough about this case to make a decision that only he can make, and unless he charges it and it goes to trial, you're speculating. Stating it as if you are all-knowing does not make your opinion any more than speculation.

Less Bias
Less Bias

You don't have to be a lawyer to know that "attempted murder" has a very specific legal definition. Unless they can prove that she left the baby there with the *intent* of causing death, twiggy is right - she will never be convicted of attempted murder.

rabbitrun107

my apologies to you getinvolved. At any rate, I just don't think she'll get into too much trouble. Like I said before her lawyer will get her off with a small fine and a little time on probation saying she was suffering from post partum depression. And then I'm sure after all that, she'll get pregnant again. Scum like that never seem to learn

getinvolved

It will be interesting to follow the case. Maybe she did suffer from deep post partum depression. It's an amazingly terrible mental illness.

rabbitrun107

I only feel for the baby in this instance. In no way do I feel sorry for the person who gave birth to her! This is probably what will happen......her lawyer (who we will have to pay for) will claim post partum depression and she'll get probation for a short time. She will then be required to take parenting classes and then get the baby back. When in reality she was most likely upset because people were giving all the attention to the baby and she felt left out. So she faked all this so she herself could get attention. Which also would explain why she was pregnant and gave birth twice to two different babies within one year. She'll get off easy on this just to have more kids! The judge should require her to use birth control and be monitored on that very thing (how, I'm not sure)
And to the person who commented that she put this baby in what she thought was a safe place.....REALLY! A safe place is down in the ditch where she could be eaten by animals, have bugs crawl all over her and get sunburnt??????? That's a safe place??? She's 19 years old, she's not retarded...if she knew enough to lay and get pregnant and then have these kids, she knew exactly what she was doing.....selfish, selfish, selfish. Keep her in jail and away from babies, kids and men who are potent!

pta mom

Undeniably, this woman is not fit to care for children. She is only 19 and obviously quite fertile. How should she be prevented from conceiving for the next 30 years? Birth control. There are many options--pills, shots, IUDs, diaphragms, condoms, abstinence. Good birth control and good social services prevent the rate of pregnancy and abortion. Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney* do not want to fund ANY form of birth control. Their policies will create more tragic situations, such as this one.

*and Hobby Lobby

geoff
geoff

Some conservatives just feel that pills, shots, IUD's diaphragms, condoms don't equal realistic relationships or real kids.

getinvolved

Funny, it seems pretty much everyone thinks their relationship is realistic while practicing some form of birth control -- unless everyone stops having sex after two or three kids. While we used to see families with 15 or 20 kids, I haven't even met such a family for decades.

Perhaps democrats continue having good sex lives with their spouses, and Republicans watch Fox deep into the night with no distractions......

Klaatu
Klaatu

Cut it out. Really, grow up a bit. Birth control costs about ten bucks a month. It isn't part of the public responsibility to fund birth control. People have to be responsible for themselves, AND KILLING THE LATE TERM UNBORN IS NOT THE WAY TO DO IT. Nobody in this country is unable to buy the pill. You can get free condoms easily. We have a cultural problem. We have cheapened the value of life and it is going to get much worse. Obamacare will lead straight to denial of treatment for old people and eventually the cost of maintaining millions of geriatric babyboomers will lead to something even worse.

shannyforreal

this is a sad story. the baby is not that old, I would say maybe she has the baby blues and felt this was the only safe place for the baby (going on the assumption she didn't know about safe havens) post partum is nothing to mess with. as someone else stated leaving the baby on the side of the road, defiantly not the most ideal place. but if she didn't have anyone to turn to for help, maybe she thought it was "safe". just sad, I would take that sweet girl in a second. but sounds like this mom just needs more help...

TruthOnlyBeTold
TruthOnlyBeTold

Whatever happened to the idea of dropping a baby off on the steps of a church or some other place where someone is bound to find the baby soon? Has she never heard of the word adoption? If she was smart enough and lucid enough to make up a lie that her baby had been kidnapped...then perhaps she was smart enough and lucid enough to know that her baby's chance of survival along that gravel road were not good at all. I have a very hard time feeling any sort of sympathy for this person.

IowaEMT
IowaEMT

So your comments get deleted when you call a deadbeat mom trash? God this website sucks.

Comment deleted.
getinvolved

Wow, you sounded like a relatively intelligent person until you threw Obama into it. Then you sounded like a really, really dumb one.

barkley

So she has at least two older children, of course she can't take care of three children she's only 18. I'm sure this young girl did not want to leave her baby on the side of the road, she probably just could not handle taking care of three kids when she is still a kid herself. It would be an understatement to say that leaving the baby on the side of the road was a bad decision, but 18 year olds aren't known for their adult choices and life skills. She probably did not know about safe haven or have access to other support/resources. She lives in a very rural area (pop <1300) and probably does not have much higher than an eighth grade education. Instead of advocating for better outreach and resources to help young people, do the Christian thing, judge them after you have denied them birth control and abortion then throw them in prison.

getinvolved

It wasn't long ago that everyone had babies at 18. In my parents' generation, the most common scenario was getting married at 17 or 18 and having kids. To say this woman has an excuse because she is only 19 with three kids is ridiculous. In today's world, people know they can get help. She just chose not to.

KT

Barkley, I don't see any need to try picturing this young woman as ignorant (8th grade education) because of living in a small community!-- There are schools in the area. Perhaps she was on the way to a "Safe Haven" drop site and couldn't deal with a crying baby anymore.--NOT saying she did right at all, just saying she might have just lost control of herself for a bit of time. We should all be thankful the child is alive and well!---There have been far too many deaths in cases like this.

EMS169

What an opportunity for the news media to inform the public about the Safe Haven for this type of situation, too bad QC Times dropped the ball.

RoloTomasi

The Stark County Sheriff is probably wrong on the charge. A false denial is not a crime. A false report of a crime is a crime. That comes under the Disorderly Conduct statute. Still a felony.
As far as charge of Attempt Murder, that would be a stretch.

twiggy
twiggy

The Sheriff is NOT the one that charges an individual. It is the State's Attorney. They do this after careful consideration of the evidence and applying that evidence to the law. Thus the charges. I am sure the SA has charged thousands of criminals and I trust the SA knows what should be charged. She is charged with Obstruction of Justice, I have no idea what you mean by "false denial of a crime" She obstructed justice by lying to the police while they were doing their job. She "Obstructed" them in that she kept them from finding her child, by lying to them. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see the charges evolve as more is learned. The SA can add charges as he sees fit.

getinvolved

It's certainly possible that the State's Attorney hasn't done the charging yet, and that this is what the sheriff "charged" upon arrest.

twiggy
twiggy

NOT! I can assure you that the on call "sa" has been involved. And in this case has consulted with his superior. The sheriff may do a complaint, but it is immediately overshadowed by the SA. It is the SAO which makes the decision re charging.

getinvolved

You can't assure me of that. Not by a long, long shot. Using your caps lock to shout it out doesn't make it any more true, sunshine.

getinvolved

A false statement given to prevent the police from solving a crime is obstruction of justice under Illinois law. You can decide not to talk at all, but if you lie, you can be charged.

juicy

Sad story. Why not just put the baby up for adoption. There are some many couples out there that can't have children who are willing to give their all to a child. I am sure happy that the baby was found safe and sound.

Comment deleted.
twiggy
twiggy

to call another human being "garbage" is quite christian of you. I bet you are one, right? I can always tell by the way Christians are so willing to judge and insult. And hey! Your sister was "preggers" at 18 and everything worked out so there we have it! this woman is "garbage" and has no worth! Why not just take her out and shoot her? I bet that's what Christ would do, huh?

mother2many

Being a mother to 2 children under one year of age would be difficult. Quite honestly, I don't think that I could handle it. I remember being overwhelmed when I had 2 kids under age 3. Don't know if the children's father(s) is/are in the picture or if this mother had any family members to help her with caring for her kids. Being overwhelmed doesn't excuse what she did with the baby. As a taxpayer, I'm upset that she lied about the whereabouts of her baby, wasting time and money for law enforcement and others to look for the baby. Issuing an Amber Alert means that many people were probably looking, too. If a parent is truly overwhelmed with caring for a child, there are ways out that don't involve leaving a helpless 3 week old child on the side of a road. There are many people who would happily adopt a baby. The hospital in my city is a "safe haven" for unwanted infants, with a sign advertising this. I'm happy that this baby was found alive and reasonably well. I think that the mother should lose custody of her kids and serve jail time.

1of3

Oh do not get me wrong I did not mean to make excuses for her,, I find her behavior unforgivable and I think she should be punished in any way possible and should never be allowed the opportunity to hurt this child again. I am sure she was overwhelmed with two babies under a year old at her age, what I was meaning is that she should of sought help instead of dropping the baby off on a gravel road. So many loving people out there would of done anything to have a chance to love and raise this child if this young girl felt she was not up to the task.

misskitty

Why wasn't she charged with attempted murder?

MGibbs

I would hope so

twiggy
twiggy

because the requirements to charge Attempt (not attempted) Murder in Illinois have not been met....duh.

getinvolved

Twiggy: The charge is not called, "Attempt Murder." An attempt to commit a crime is a crime. "Attempted murder" is a fine term to use in a forum like this. It's stupid to jump on someone in this thread for calling it that, as it describes the charge better than your mistaken term of "attempt murder." Duh right back at'cha.

Miskitty brings up an intelligent question, and your snarky little response did nothing more than make you sound like a jerk.

Misskitty, I can see someone in this situation being charged with attempt to commit murder. It's a difficult charge to prove, as the prosecutor has to prove the intent to cause death. In my opinion, the acts might show that intent, especially with the lies to prevent them from finding the child on time to save her. It will be interesting to watch this case.

Less Bias
Less Bias

You're both being petty. In any case, an attempted murder charge requires proof of intent. Nothing in this story indicates that such a charge is warranted.

twiggy
twiggy

The fact YOU don't understand the law does not mean the prosecutors don't

1of3

Too young to deal with two children under a year old by herself. There are a few her age that are mature enough to handle it, but most are not. Its hard for me to believe that those around her did not see her struggeling to cope.

pta mom

This woman obviously needed help and didn't have the skills, tools, and info needed to get that help.

If Romney and Ryan and Hobby Lobby and some religious fundamentalists have their way, there will be a lot more of such cases.

This is a classic case of a woman who SHOULD have been on birth control--- maybe should be for the rest of her life.

twiggy
twiggy

amen.

geoff
geoff

Whats wrong with the traditional form of birth control of keeping your pants zipped up or is that to hard?

getinvolved

There's nothing wrong with it. There's nothing wrong with condoms, either.

BabiesRpeople2

So pta mom, you think killing unborn babies is the answer? You obviously are a mom. What child of your do you think would have been okay to kill if you weren't feeling motherly at the time. Your choice right?

twiggy
twiggy

Where is pta mom calling for the killing of babies? It seems she is advocating the use of birth control, does it not? As anyone with the least knowledge of history will tell you, before the advent of birth control this happened regularly.

Less Bias
Less Bias

Birth control != "Killing Babies"

irish71452

this breed mare should have her tubes tied with no chance of reversal. This will ensure that future babies will not be left in a ditch. What makes you think she didn't have the opportunity to be on BC and was just too lazy to take it? Any "mother" who exhibits behavior and puts children at rish should have mandatory permanent birth control. Problem solved.

1of3

Very sad story! I think this young lady was just overwhelmed, she should of asked for help but instead chose to risk the life of this little baby by dropping her off on a gravel road. Im so glad the baby was found safe.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.