A 34-year-old St. Paul woman said she kidnapped her friend’s 2-month-old son while everyone was asleep in the Brooklyn Park apartment because she wanted to convince her boyfriend that she gave birth to the baby and that he was the father, according to a charge filed Thursday.
Thalia T. Benson was charged in Hennepin County District Court with kidnapping Elijah Alonzo on Tuesday and remains jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Police tracked Benson to her apartment in St. Paul, Elijah was recovered unharmed and Benson admitted to kidnapping Christina Alonzo’s son, according to the charge.
In a recorded interview with authorities, the criminal complaint continued, Benson said she was trying to dupe her live-in boyfriend into believing that she had given birth to Elijah and that he was the father.
According to the complaint:
Shortly after 6 a.m. Tuesday, police were called to Alonzo’s apartment in the 5500 block of Brookdale Drive N., where Alonzo told officers that she fell asleep on the couch with Elijah and her 3-year-old daughter, then awoke about 1:30 a.m. to find the little one missing. Also gone was Benson, who had been visiting.
Alonzo called Benson, who said she didn’t know where Elijah could be, last seeing him on the couch before leaving.
Alonzo, assuming Elijah was in another room sleeping with his grandparents, went to bed for the rest of the night and took her 3-year-old with her.
After waking up about 6 a.m. and realizing Elijah was missing, Alonzo called Benson, who came to the apartment; they checked with the boy’s grandparents, who said they hadn’t seen him since the night before, the complaint said. Alonzo then called 911, police arrived and they followed Benson, who was in a minivan with relatives, to the St. Paul apartment.
The relatives grew suspicious, police were alerted, and Elijah was found in a vehicle parked outside the St. Paul apartment being cared for by Benson’s boyfriend. He told police that Benson convinced him she was pregnant and had just given birth to his baby, according to the complaint. He showed officers text messages from Benson detailing the supposed pregnancy and birth.
The boyfriend said Benson showed up at their home with Elijah but had no car seat, baby clothes or diaper bag, and just one bottle for the boy.
About 4 a.m., Benson left her apartment and later called him to say she was helping police concerning Alonzo’s missing baby.
Benson also told him to leave the apartment with the baby before police arrived, according to the complaint.
The boyfriend has not been charged.