Babysitters arrested for abducting toddlers in Florida and abandoning them in another state

An 18-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man were arrested in Florida this week after allegedly taking two toddlers on an unauthorized road trip to Wisconsin. The pair had agreed to babysit the children overnight but instead drove them 1,000 miles away and abandoned them in a public park. Fortunately, the children were found unharmed. Adalyn Jean Burkett and Marquan L. Edwards were taken into custody and charged with abduction.

Adalyn Jean Burkett and Marquan L. Edwards were arrested on Monday. Their arrest was made in connection with the alleged abduction of two toddlers from Florida. The incident came to light on June 24, 2023, when the mother of the children contacted the authorities to report that Burkett, whom she considered a friend, had taken her two children, aged 1 and 2, out of state without her knowledge or consent. The mother also claimed that Burkett had taken her car.

According to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, the mother had spent the previous night with Burkett, who had agreed to babysit her children the following night. The mother had also allowed Burkett to use her car, with the understanding that it would be returned the next morning. However, when the mother tried to reach Burkett, she discovered that both Burkett and her children were no longer in Bay County and had left the state of Florida.

The Bay County Sheriff’s Office immediately launched an investigation to locate the missing children. It was revealed that Burkett had been accompanied by Marquan L. Edwards, and they had driven from Panama City, Florida, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the mother’s car, taking the two children with them on the approximately 16-hour journey. An arrest warrant was issued for Burkett on the evening of June 24, and the relevant information was shared with the Milwaukee Police Department to aid in apprehending the suspects.

In response to the escalating situation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a Missing Child Alert on June 25, seeking public assistance in locating the children, identified as DeKarsen Middleton, aged 2, and Delyla Middleton, aged 1. The alert was widely disseminated through various media outlets. Upon learning of the alert, the suspects allegedly abandoned the children at a public park in Milwaukee in an attempt to distance themselves from the investigation and potential arrest.

The Milwaukee police found the children later that evening and took them to the local police station. After a thorough investigation, the U.S. Marshals arrested Burkett and Edwards at a residence in Milwaukee on June 26. The Milwaukee police are also conducting their own investigation into the actions of the suspects.

The arrest of Adalyn Jean Burkett and Marquan L. Edwards brings an end to a distressing incident where two toddlers were taken on an unauthorized road trip from Florida to Wisconsin. Thanks to the swift actions of law enforcement and the cooperation of the public, the children were found unharmed. The suspects now face charges related to child abduction and interference with child custody.