Courthouse Employee Recognizes Abduction Suspect From Web Site, Alerts Deputies

Authorities say they have apprehended a mother who police say kidnapped her daughter in Ayden. That child is safe. thanks to an alert courthouse employee who saw the woman's picture on witn.com.

Sashawanna Speight is in custody at the Pitt County Detention Center.

Ayden police say Speight was found this morning at the Pitt County County Courthouse where she showed up for an unrelated case. Her nine year old daughter, Jada Wilkins was in the courtroom with her.

A member of the courthouse maintenance staff walked by the woman and thought she looked familiar. The employee said she got her phone, and pulled up the story on witn.com with the woman's picture on it. She then alerted deputies.

The child lives in Ohio with her father, James Wilkins. The nine year old was visiting her grandmother on Magellan Court in Ayden this week, when police say the child's mother came by unexpectedly for a visit. At the conclusion of the visit Tuesday night, police say Speight led the child to her car to supposedly get items out of the vehicle. Instead, police say Speight left with Jada.

The grandmother who Jada was visiting, Wanda Wilkins, says Speight told her she wanted Jada to go to their car to get some books and toys out. Wilkins says the visit was very friendly, and she never expected Speight to take off with the child.

Police say Speight and her sister, who was in the car with her, both face charges.


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The FBI is involved in the search for a missing nine year old girl whom police say was kidnapped by her own mother.

Jada Wilkins lives in Ohio with her father, James Wilkins. The nine year old was visiting her grandmother on Magellan Court in Ayden this week, when police say the child's mother came by unexpectedly for a visit. At the conclusion of the visit Tuesday night, police say the mother, Sashawanna Speight, led the child to her car to supposedly get items out of the vehicle. Instead, police say Speight left with Jada. Neither have been seen since.

The grandmother who Jada was visiting, Wanda Wilkins, says Speight told her she wanted Jada to go to their car to get some books and toys out. Wilkins says the visit was very friendly, and she never expected Speight to take off with the child.

Jada's father flew into Greenville this morning to help with the investigation and says the FBI and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children is involved in the case. James Wilkins says this happened before in 2006, but that time his daughter was found in a matter of hours. He tells us he is more concerned this time.

Ayden Police Chief Barry Stanley says Pitt County deputies checked on a house in Farmville Tuesday night for any sign of Speight or her family members, while the Greene County Sheriff's Office was checking out a house there. So far, there has been no sign of Speight or the child.

Anyone with information on where Speight or Jada Wilkins is can call Ayden Police at (252) 746-7015.


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