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Mother who put her baby up for adoption charged with kidnapping

A 19-year-old mother who put her baby up for adoption about three years ago is now charged with kidnapping the child.

Elizabeth McCollum was arrested on Sunday. She is accused of taking the 3-year-old child without the adoptive parents’ permission and driving the toddler to an undisclosed location in Washington Parish, La.

The child was taken Wednesday from her baby sitter’s home in D’Iberville, said Sheriff’s Capt. Ron Pullen. McCollum, of Saucier, took the child to Wal-Mart to buy her some clothes, Pullen said.

“The mother went to Wal-Mart to confront her and that’s when Ms. McCollum left and took the child to Washington Parish. The biological mother was allowed visitation,” Pullen said. “The biological mother … was only 15 or 16 when she had the baby.”

Washington Parish deputies were able to find the child, unharmed, and placed her in protective custody, but they couldn’t find McCollum. Gulfport police officers stopped McCollum on traffic violations Sunday and learned she was listed as a fugitive.

McCollum was held at the Harrison County jail on $25,000 bond set by Justice Court Judge Melvin Ray pending an initial court appearance.