Amber Alert Turns Into Criminal Case

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Kendra Meaker appeared before a judge in Stark County, Illinois on Friday, September 28th. The 19-year-old mother is charged with obstructing justice and endangering the life and health of her own child on Thursday, September 27th.

Earlier Friday, the Stark County Sheriff told News 8 that Meaker admitted to putting her three-week-old daughter, Mia Grace, in a ditch along Illinois State Route 17 in Toulon, Illinois on Thursday.

Sheriff Jimmie Dison says Meaker then drove to the Stark County Jail and told police her daughter was taken, which resulted in an Amber Alert being issued statewide.

"She probably felt like she had no other choice," says Tina Dennison, whose neighbor knows Meaker. "She may have been trying to figure out something else and in desperation maybe this is what happened."

Tina also wonders if this was all caused by postpartum depression or something worse.

"[She's a] young mother [with] two young children," says Tina. "I wished she would have reached out in a better way. There's other ways to handle this."

The family did read a statement to the media on Friday morning. They say this has been a "hellish 24 hour" and they're asking for privacy and prayers as this developing story continues.