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Baby Melvin Back With Family; Woman Held for Questioning

11:13 AM, Mar 3, 2010   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Melvin Duclos, the 1-month-old baby taken from his parents' arms by a woman posing as a Department of Children and Families worker, has been found safe and police have arrested a suspect in the abduction.

Augustin Duclos, his wife and Melvin arrived back at their Westside home at 9:20 a.m.

"It's a miracle, it's a miracle from God. Nobody (thought) I would get my baby back," Duclos said.

Melvin was wrapped in a blue blanket in a car seat as his father answered questions from reporters. "He's here safe and sound," he said.

He thanked police for their quick work locating his son and  thanked the community for their prayers and support.

Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford said Melvin was reunited with his family at JSO headquarters early this morning. Evidence at the baby's home led investigators to the suspect who is being held for questioning, said Rutherford.

An Amber Alert for Melvin Duclos went out shortly before midnight, a few hours after the family called police to report their missing baby.

The family said a mystery woman followed them around Shands hospital during a doctor's appointment Tuesday afternoon. The woman even followed the family home.

Around 4:45 p.m., the family told police the woman knocked on their door, identified herself as a DCF worker and showed what appeared to be a badge and official paperwork.

Police said the woman convinced the family to hand the baby over due to an investigation. The woman grabbed Melvin and drove off in a dark colored Honda Accord.

The family, concerned that the woman hadn't returned, called police around 7 p.m. A few hours later, JSO issued a missing child alert, which was upgraded by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to an Amber Alert around 11:40 p.m.

Duclos said the woman left documents at their home, and he thinks that is how police tracked her down. He had never seen the woman before, but she told Duclos she had been following the family around for two days, he said.

Overnight, authorities gathered evidence at the family's home on Ironside Drive. Just under 12 hours after Melvin vanished with the mystery woman, police announced they had a suspect in for questioning and Melvin back with his family.

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