Child welfare workers have taken custody of the boy who was left at the Southaven Goodwill on Monday morning with a change of clothes and a note that said, “child abandoned…no phone number for mom.”
Local news media said the boy’s name was Sergio.
In a complaint filed Thursday in Memphis Federal Court, the FBI accused Jeremy Fitzgerald, 34, and girlfriend Turlisca Turner, 29, of taking the child and driving him from Memphis to Mississippi.
The complaint said the boy’s mother Antoinette Smith told agents Fitzgerald took her child after she refused to work for him as a prostitute in Nashville.
She said she called Fitzgerald numerous times to get her son after he left her behind in Nashville, but he didn’t answer, according to the complaint.
Smith’s sister then called Fitzgerald and during the conversation, he demanded money for the boy’s return.
“Turner was aware that Fitzgerald had demanded money in exchange for the child’s return,” Memphis U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavan said.
Turner was apprehended Monday wearing the same clothes as in surveillance video from the Goodwill, prosecutors said.
Fitzgerald was arrested after crashing the maroon vehicle that he and Turner were in as they drove away from the Goodwill after dropping off Sergio, they said. He was seen on video at the Goodwill wearing a mask and holding Sergio’s hand.
The boy wasn’t able to tell police his name after being abandoned.