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Police: Woman Shoots Mom, Kidnaps Baby

June 29, 2002

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MIAMI (AP) _ A Florida woman obsessed with having a baby offered a woman a ride home from a Miami pediatric clinic, shot her in the head and took her 6-month-old son, police said Friday.

The infant was later found unhurt at the suspect’s Fort Myers home, said Miami police spokesman Lt. Bill Schwartz. The 21-year-old mother, who was left for dead on a road, was hospitalized in critical condition.

Police charged Jennifer Graves, 30, with attempted murder, kidnapping and weapons offenses. She was being held without bail.

Graves visited a pediatric clinic at Jackson Memorial Hospital on Wednesday, apparently looking for a child to take home with her, officials said. She allegedly told neighbors she had given birth to a baby in January, but no one ever saw a child.

``She apparently had an obsession that she wanted a baby,″ Schwartz said.

Graves ran into Ronnie Holton, who had taken her son for a checkup, and offered her a ride home, police said. She shot Holton in the head during the ride, pushed her out of the car and drove away with the baby, Schwartz said.

A man working in his yard found Holton on the side of the road.

Police arrested Graves at her home 120 miles northwest of Miami after learning she had suddenly been seen with a baby.

``We feel deep sorrow if our daughter has harmed somebody,″ the suspect’s father, William Graves, said Friday. ``We’re totally devastated.″

The baby was in state custody and will be released to his father, police said.