Sleeping babysitter causes extensive search for missing child in Gonzales; child found safe
POSTED: Friday, June 28, 2013 - 10:28am
UPDATED: Monday, July 1, 2013 - 11:04am
GONZALES, LA (NBC33) — A sleeping babysitter caused a frantic search in Gonzales for a missing child. Thankfully, the child was safe, but the child’s temporary guardian now faces charges and the child’s mother was also issued a citation.
“This is the type of call that sends chills down an officer’s spine,” Sgt. Steven Nethken, Gonzales Police Department, said. “Considerable resources had been mobilized to assist in the location of this child and we are grateful that the final outcome was what it was.”
It all started shortly before 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 27. Officers were dispatched to a home on LA 30 in Gonzales in reference to a missing child. Once they arrived at the home, John Peppers, Jr., 24, told officers that he was taking care of a 6-year-old girl and she had gone missing.
“Officers responded and learned that John Peppers, Jr., whom had charge of the child since 4:00 p.m. that afternoon, had not seen the child in over an hour,” Sgt. Nethken said in a press release. “A diligent search of the immediate area produced no sign of the little girl.”
Police located the child’s mother, Krissa Donaldson, 20, from Belle Rose. She explained she left her daughter in the care of Peppers, the child’s “godfather,” so she could attend a training class for work.
“The mother said that around 6:00 p.m. she received a phone call from John Peppers asking if she had come and picked up the child and that he could not find her,” Sgt. Nethken noted. “The child was later discovered to be with a friend of the family after they arrived at the residence of John Peppers, Jr. and discovered the child wishing to leave.”
According to the family friend, Peppers was “passed out” on the couch and was “unable to be awakened.” The family friend took the child for safe keeping.
Peppers was arrested and charged with one count of Child Desertion. He was booked into the Ascension Parish Prison.
Additionally, Donaldson was issued a summons for one count of Improper Supervision of a Minor by a Parent.