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Baby allegedly kidnapped in Canton by woman posing as CPS employee recovered unharmed; 2 people charged

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Canton Police
Posted at 3:40 PM, Mar 17, 2023

Two people have been charged in connection with kidnapping a 3-week-old baby girl from the 600 block of Alan Page Drive Southeast Thursday morning, according to a news release from the Canton Police Department.

The mother of the child told police that a woman posing as an employee for Child Protective Services (CPS) and wearing a name tag took the baby girl from her home, police said.

In a 911 call on Thursday evening, the mother told police, “It’s been almost 16 hours since they took her and I have not received a call from them, they didn’t leave me with any information to call. I still have custody of her.”

When the family contacted CPS Friday morning, they learned there was no open case against them.

“I just got off the phone with CPS, they do not have anything in their records about her. My daughter was stolen,” the mother told 911 operators frantically.

The child's father added, “She tried to take all 4 of our kids, but our oldest two were in school and I would not allow her to take my other son. The only reason that she got out of my house with my daughter was because she refused to put her down.”

When Canton Police verified the woman who took the child was not affiliated with CPS, the department launched an investigation. Detectives worked with the real-time crime center using license plate readers and surveillance cameras to identify a suspect vehicle.

Police Chief John Gabbard said the department was seconds away from triggering an Amber Alert when they received word the child was found.

“Within 2 hours of learning that this was a kidnapping, we had the safe recovery of the child in a different county,” explained Chief Gabbard.

The vehicle the woman was in was registered in Conesville, Ohio, Canton Police notified the Coshocton County Sheriff's Office. The agency located the vehicle, conducted a traffic stop and arrested suspects Sapphire McDougleh, 31, and Brandon Savage, 21. The baby girl was recovered unharmed.

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Kidnapping suspects Sapphire McDougleh (left) and Brandon Savage.

Gabbard said the family did the right thing by reaching out to police. He cautions others to trust their gut if something appears suspicious.

“Don’t take anyone’s word for anything, unless you have a law enforcement officer or paperwork that’s signed by a judge that is legitimate," he said. "It’s always ok to ask questions and verify information.”

Arrest records show McDougleh lived in the same apartment complex as the baby's family. Savage is from Conesville.

According to Canton Police, McDougleh, who they suspect posed as Child Protective Services, is charged with kidnapping. Savage is charged with complicity to commit kidnapping. They are both being held on a $750,000.00 cash bond and awaiting extradition to Stark County.

The Canton Police Detective Bureau is investigating the incident. Anyone with any information regarding this crime is asked to contact Canton Police Detective Bureau at (330) 489-3144.

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