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FRIDAY, JULY 27, 2007
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Woman says baby abducted

PRICHARD (AP) — Prichard police are looking into the bizarre case of a missing 4-week-old girl whose mother says the infant was abducted by two women claiming to be from the Agape adoption agency in Daphne.

Police Chief Lawrence Battiste said at a news conference Wednesday that 18-year-old Gerentha Lewis admitted she gave the infant up for adoption Friday, but later changed her mind at the request of family members.

Lewis told investigators she handed the baby, Zarial Lewis Farris, over to two women at USA Children's and Women Hospital.

The two claimed they worked for Agape, a faith-based adoption agency, she said.

But Battiste said an agency representative said they had no record of the case.

Lewis, who has one other daughter, said she didn't feel she could take care of the newborn.

The baby's grandmother, Jackie Lewis, said her daughter at first wouldn't say what she had done with the baby but eventually admitted giving her up for adoption.

"My husband and I said that wasn't a decision she should have made on her own and she needed to do whatever she could to get the baby back," she said.

Battiste said they have no suspects because Lewis destroyed the paperwork documenting the adoption.

The Alabama Department of Human Resources, which oversees the adoption process, keeps a record of all legal adoptions in the state. But Battiste said the agency has no record of Zarial's adoption.

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Information from: Press-Register, www.al.com/mobileregister

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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