Mother claims she gave her son to two strangers in burkas


PUBLISHED: 05:42 EST, 12 June 2012 UPDATED: 11:32 EST, 12 June 2012


The mystery of a boy who disappeared in bizarre circumstances last year has deepened after it was revealed his mother tried to convinced a judge she handed him to two burka-clad strangers.

Sealed papers show the drug addict mother of one-year-oldDwight Stallings, Tanisha Edwards, told authorities she last saw her son at a motel in Nevada.

The child, who turned two last month, has not been seen by family members or neighbours in Sacramento since April last year.

Without a trace: Dwight Stallings, who is now two, has not been seen since April of last year

Without a trace: Dwight Stallings, who is now two, has not been seen since April of last year

Edwards claimed she had decided to travel to Kentucky with the boy but stopped off en route in Nevada.

There, she said, she discovered Dwight’s father, Hasaun Stallings, had been arrested back in Sacramento.

Court records show he was charged March 30, 2011, with false imprisonment, battery against a spouse and vandalism.


Edwards told the court that she felt she needed to return to Sacramento to clear out the couple’s apartment, and ‘it would have been too hard for me… with a one-year-old’.

So, she claimed, she handed him over to two women in burkas she had never seen before in a Motel 6 parking lot, and walked away.

By mid April, after Edwards’ return, the authorities started getting concerned about her child’s whereabouts.

Jailed: Dwight's mother Tanisha Edwards was arrested on a probation violation in March

Jailed: Dwight’s mother Tanisha Edwards was arrested on a probation violation in March

The county’s Child Protective Services agency, which had an open case on the family, made four attempts on their own or with sheriff’s deputies to find the mother that month, but were unsuccessful.

A warrant for her arrest was then issued on May 26 and on June 8 the 35-year-old was brought before a Juvenile Court and asked to account for why her child was not there.

But at the hearing, Jerilyn Borackreleased her from custody, despite finding the tale ludicrous.

According to The Sacramento Bee, which revealed the papers,Edwards was allowed to go free –without having to produce her child– because no one objected.

It was only then that a huge police operation was launched to find the boy.

Sacramento County sheriff’s investigators have expressed concern that the child may be dead, and that the delay in beginning the search may have jeopardised their efforts to find him.

The Juvenile Court played a pivotal role in that timeline when Borack cut the mother loose last year, despite commenting at the hearing that Edwards’ story ‘really stretches the imagination.’

The court transcript shows that at one point, Borack asked her: ‘He’s with people you don’t know?’

Edwards, who has two other children, responded: ‘Exactly, but it can’t be no worse than what you read in the paper.’

Edwards eventually disappeared again, eluding both the court and county Child Protective Services until she was arrested in March on suspicion of violating probation and being under the influence of a narcotic.

According to The Sacramento Bee, she remains in jail, unwilling or unable to help or to even say whether it was daytime or night when she last saw the child.

Sacramento sheriff’s homicide detectives say they have few clues to his whereabouts.

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