Tongela McBride (Cobb County Jail)
(Anderson County Sheriff's Office/Greenville Online)
ANDERSON, S.C. -- Tips came in from around the country in the days after "Little Jane Doe" was left in a stroller on a stranger's doorstep in Anderson.
The picture of 4-year-old Zoe Brown, taken in a hospital room at 2
a.m., and her story, spread faster than investigators could imagine,
through social media and news outlets as the public sought to help
identify the child.
By the time Zoe's parents were found, more than 3 million people had
shared the Facebook photo that the Anderson County Sheriff's Office
first posted on April 3, the day after Zoe was discovered, said
spokesman Chad McBride.
The girl's father, Alonzo C. Brown, 31, of Marietta, Ga. was arrested in
the Upstate and charged with unlawful neglect of a child while the
girl's mother, Tongela Denise McBride was charged as a fugitive fleeing
from justice, according to warrants.
McBride was apprehended at her Kennesaw, Ga. apartment, a warrant said, about
135 miles from the home on Brook Forest Drive where Zoe was left.
Jail records show McBride was born in South Carolina. She is being held at
the Cobb County Detention Center, awaiting extradition to Anderson,
according to the Georgia warrant.
The process could "happen in three days, or it could happen in three weeks," Chad McBride said.
Why Zoe was abandoned, though, remains a mystery. In the interest of
pursuing justice for the little girl, the Sheriff's Office will not
reveal the suspected motive.
"Any of us would probably take a bullet for her in a heartbeat, if it came down to it," Chad McBride said.
He said investigators worked tirelessly for four days to identify Zoe,
following leads that never panned out until someone finally called in
with a name after seeing the story on a television newscast.
The case of Zoe Brown was a first for the Sheriff's Office because it was, in a sense, a reverse missing child case.
"We had never had anything like this, and so we were utilizing a lot of the
same resources that we would use for a missing child - SLED and the
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children," McBride said.
In the meantime, calls, emails and Facebook messages came in from hundreds
of people wanting to adopt Zoe, people who said they had fallen in love
with this little girl and her story, Chad McBride said.
Zoe is now in the custody of the Department of Social Services, in a foster home, where she is safe and happy, he said.