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Abandoned Boy’s Past Now Solved, Authorities Look to the Future

July 31, 1996

NEW YORK (AP) _ It’s now clear where little Jonathan Adams came from. Where he’s going is another matter.

Four months after the boy, now 5, was abandoned at a Toys ’R Us store in Brooklyn, a 19-year-old woman from rural South Carolina was identified Tuesday as his mother.

Tamekka Adams of Aiken, S.C., told police she left her son at the store because she couldn’t take care of him and was convinced he would have a better life in a foster home.

``Her explanation is, she was a 14-year-old mother from a dysfunctional family, she got little or no support from her family except for maybe a roof over her head,″ sheriff’s Maj. Jody Rowland said. ``She felt she could not provide for the child at all.″

After being jailed overnight for an outstanding warrant from a check fraud charge, Adams was released early Tuesday. No immediate charges involving the child’s abandonment were filed, but authorities said they were still investigating.

Adams told police that that after abandoning her son, she got on a bus to South Carolina, according to today’s New York Post. Later, she told relatives that Jonathan was staying with his father, Joseph Greene, who is now 18 and lives in Columbia, S.C., the Post said.

The boy’s grandmother, Dora Abebe, 36, of Newark, N.J., told the newspaper the child was born after a ``one-night″ affair between her daughter and Green. The grandmother, who is on welfare and has two sons, 11 and 12, told the Post she plans to fight for custody of her grandson.

Authorities had made the boy’s story public over the weekend because they were stumped that after several months, no one had reported the child missing.

The mystery of the boy’s past now solved, authorities began looking to his future.

Jonathan has been in a foster home in the city’s Bronx borough since March 22, a day after he was found at the store.

A family court will decide what happens to the boy, said Nicholas Scoppetta, New York City’s commissioner of children’s services. He added that the possibility of the boy being reunited with his mother was ``not a likely scenario.″

The boy has not been told of all the recent developments in his case, Scoppetta said.

``We want to make sure he’s not subjected to any more trauma than he has been subjected to already,″ he said.

Meanwhile, a 55-year-old Fayetteville, N.C., man who said he might be the boy’s father gave up his claim late Tuesday. After seeing a police mug shot of Adams, Jonathan Adams said she was not the woman he believed he had a child with five years ago.

``That’s not her,″ Adams told the Fayetteville Observer-Times. ``I’m serious. It’s close but it’s not it.″

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