Complaint: Woman Stole Baby, Claimed to be Mother

Updated: 06/21/2013 7:38 AM By: Jennie Olson

Thalia Tonice Benson
Thalia Tonice Benson
Photo: Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office

A St. Paul woman is accused of kidnapping a 2-month-old and convincing her boyfriend that he was the father.

The kidnapping was first reported around 6:10 a.m. Tuesday after Brooklyn Park police were called to an apartment on Brookdale Drive.

A woman told police that she fell asleep on the couch the night before with the 2-month-old and her three-year-old toddler. She said the infant’s grandparents and her friend, 34-year-old Thalia Tonice Benson of St. Paul, were the only other people in the house at the time.

The woman said she awakened around 1:30 a.m. and put her toddler to bed but couldn’t find the baby. She called Benson, who had left, and asked if she knew where the baby was; Benson denied any knowledge, according to the criminal complaint.

The mother told police she assumed the baby was with in the bedroom with the grandparents so she took her toddler into her bedroom and fell asleep.

The next morning, Benson called the mother at 6 a.m. to see if she found the baby. She then showed up at the apartment and together they talked to the grandparents, who said they didn’t have the baby, according to the complaint.

The mother called police, who say they found no signs of forced entry. Benson agreed to let police follow her to her apartment and search it.

The baby was found in a vehicle outside Benson’s parking lot and was being taken care of by Benson’s boyfriend, according to the criminal complaint.

The boyfriend told police that Benson convinced him that she had recently given birth to the baby and that he was the father. He had numerous text message conversations to back up the claim.

He told police that Benson asked him to leave their home with the baby before police arrived.
Benson confessed to the kidnapping and admitted to deceiving her boyfriend. She has been charged with kidnapping. If convicted, she faces up to 40 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines.

Read the criminal complaint here.