Sacramento Sheriff's Department: Woman says she hid missing baby because of failed drug tests

03/29/2012 12:00 AM

10/08/2014 10:38 AM

Tanisha Edwards, whose missing 22-month-old son Dwight Stallings is at the center of an aggressive search by local officials, admitted to investigators that she was trying to hide the baby from social workers because she had failed drug tests, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday.

But how the 35-year-old Edwards hid the child remains unclear, as detectives sort through conflicting and sometimes nonsensical statements from the woman.

According to new information from the Sheriff's Department, Edwards' accounts have included: That the boy grew sick and died at an unknown hospital; that the boy was with relatives she wouldn't identify; that the boy was with black Muslim women she didn't identify; and that the boy was taken by two men dressed in black.

Efforts to clarify her statements have not been successful, said Deputy Jason Ramos, sheriff's spokesman.

Dwight Stallings has not been seen by family members since April 2011.

Elk Grove police arrested Edwards last week on suspicion of violating probation and being under the influence of drugs. At the time of her arrest, officers found there was a warrant out for her arrest for failing to produce a child when ordered to do so.

Since then, officials with the Sheriff's Department and Child Protective Services say they have been searching for the boy but have been unable to find him. Before Edwards' arrest, no missing child report had been filed with the Sheriff's Department, officials there have said.

Among her conflicting statements to detectives, Edwards has said she had no way of contacting the people whom she gave her son to and that she kept communication minimal to protect herself, according to the Sheriff's Department. She said two women had been calling her cellphone with updates on the child until December, when they stopped contact.

She has also said that her son could be known under a different name.

Anyone with information about Dwight's whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff's Department at (916) 874-5115.

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