Edmondson Village rally seeks safe return of 7-month-old Baltimore baby

Infant vanished Friday with teenager watching him for a few minutes

  • Whitney McGee, center, makes an emotional appeal for the safe return of her infant son, Ki'Yauhn Birch, at a rally in Edmondson Village.
Whitney McGee, center, makes an emotional appeal for the safe… (Barbara Haddock Taylor,…)
July 24, 2011|By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun

More than 70 people gathered Sunday evening on an Edmondson Village street corner, rallying for the safe return of an infant who disappeared Friday with the teenager who had been left to watch him briefly.

Pastors and relatives surrounded Whitney McGee, the mother of Ki'Yauhn Birch, as she tearfully pleaded for Jonae Boozer, the 16-year-old last seen with the 7-month-old boy, to surrender the baby.

"Put my baby somewhere safe and call somebody. He's probably hungry," McGee, 20, wept, as she said she was deeply worried about her baby's well-being, especially in the intense heat of the past few days.

"I want my son back. Bring him back, that's all I want — I want my son," she said, later adding, "It's a 7-month-old baby — you got to have some kind of heart."

Baltimore police have put out an urgent request for the public's assistance in locating the baby and Boozer. Police said she might be in Prince George's or Montgomery counties. The baby was last seen with Boozer around 5 p.m. Friday in the 1100 block of Lynhurst St., police said.

No amber alert was issued. Police typically tie that to several pieces of information, including a vehicle description.

Neighbors and friends turned out just before dusk to show support and pass out fliers. They vowed to keep the search going.

The Rev. Paris Evans of HG Ministries in Baltimore, a close friend of the mother's family, said she organized the rally to bring more public attention to the situation and to offer prayers. The goal, she said, was "that we will be able to find the baby and bring him home safely to his mother."

After calling on God for help, she turned to McGee and said, "He is not going to fail you," softly into McGee's ear.

Charles Birch, the baby's 20-year-old father, arrived late to the rally, saying he had just returned from questioning by police.

Birch said Boozer was a friend of a friend and stopped by his home on Lynhurst Street while he was taking care of his young son. After a while, she asked for a cigarette; he didn't have any, and left Boozer to watch Ki'Yauhn while he went to a neighborhood store.

"I went to get cigarettes, and my son's gone," he said. The baby's things and the bottle the infant hadn't finished remained. Birch said he barely knew Boozer and didn't know how to reach her; he called police Saturday morning.

"I want my son just how I left him," he said, his eyes filling with tears as his mother wept on his shoulder.

At the rally, one friend had T-shirts that were made from the flier for the families of Ki'Yauhn's parents. Others took piles of fliers to pass out as they continue going door to door. A City Council candidate, David Smallwood, said he would include the fliers with his campaign material.

A relative, Karen Zepp, brought balloons and a Teddy bear. "The Teddy bear's for when he comes home," she said.

Guardian Angels said they came by to provide whatever assistance is needed.

Kevin Tossie, a friend of Evans, was clutching his 7-year-old daughter's hand tightly as Kenae watched the crowd. "It's a shame you can't trust people these days," he said "I would lose my mind if something happened to her."

Boozer is a black female, about 155 pounds and 5-feet, 4-inches tall, according to police, has a blond Mohawk hairstyle and piercings in her lips, nose and eyebrow. She was last seen wearing a purple leopard print outfit, police said. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call detectives at 410-396-2100.

andrea.siegel@baltsun.com

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