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Update from Bladen County Sheriff’s Office at 4:13

Amber Alert Lifted For 4 Month Old

Sheriff James A. McVicker announced the recovery of 4 month old Lonnisha Renee Askew and the arrest of her mother, Juanita Renee Askew.

“At approximately 1:30 this afternoon we recovered baby Lonnisha near the bus station in Lumberton with the help of family members,” said McVicker. We have been working this case non-stop since the abduction and were able to gain the help of family members who convinced the mother to hand over the child. With the assistance of other agencies were set up undercover officers around the area and once the exchange took place we were able to arrest the mother and a male who was driving her.”

Juanita Renee Askew

Sheriff McVicker said there is a second suspect involved in the abduction of baby Lonnisha and the Sheriff’s Office will be seeking warrants on that individual as soon as he is positively identified. The man with Ms. Askew at the time of her arrest was questioned and released.

Ms. Askew was charged with Abduction of a Child and placed in Bladen County Jail under a $500,000.00 secured bond pending a first appearance hearing in Bladen County District Court on Wednesday morning. 

“I would like to thank the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, Lumberton Police Department, the State Bureau of Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, both the Columbus County and Bladen County Department of Social Services, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Amber Alert folks for all working with us to get Lonnisha back safely,” said McVicker. It was a joint effort and I would be remiss if I did not thank the media for helping us get the word out.

Updated 1:30 p.m.

By Charlotte Smith

Lonnisha Askew has been found safe and her mother, Juanita Askew has been apprehended according to Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker who is on site at the bus station in Lumberton. There have been no injuries reported.

Updated at 11:23 a.m.

By Charlotte Smith

An Amber Alert was issued Tuesday morning for Lonnisha Renee Askew.

Authorities are searching for Juanita Renee Askew, 22, of Whiteville, who is Lonnisha’s alleged abductor. Juanita is said to be mentally unstable according to reports. Juanita is accused of kidnapping her daughter, Lonnisha Renee Askew from a daycare near Bladenboro Monday afternoon.

The Amber Alert stated, “Lounnisha Renee Askew is a 4-month-old black female, approximately 20 inches tall, weighing 14 pounds. She has black hair, and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a green onesie with pink circle designs and black socks.

Allegedly, there is 1 abductor: Juanita Renee Askew. Juanita Renee Askew is described as 22 years old, Black, female, 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighing 196 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes. Black and White T-Shirt with Black leggings.”

Areas the two may be in are Bladen County, Columbus County, Scotland County, and Harnett County. The vehicle the two may be traveling in is a black 2011 Chevy Cruze LT with North Carolina license plate FLN-1228.

If you have any information regarding this abduction, call the Bladen County Sheriff Office immediately at (910) 862-6960, or call 911 or *HP.

Baby Lonnisha has medical issues and needs medication and a special diet. She has a red birth mark on the back of her head, a scar on her abdomen and a cyst over her right eye.

Juanita has a history of unstable behavior. In March of this year the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office reported an incident involving Juanita Askew. According to the report in March, Juanita Renee Askew was arrested on January 11, 2019 for two (2) counts of Failure to Appear, Simple Assault, Possession of Stolen Goods, two (2) counts of Obtaining Property by False Pretense, Injury to Personal Property, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, and Misdemeanor Larceny.

On March 20th, after her court hearings, Askew was being prepared for transport from Columbus County Detention Center to another detention facility. Askew was non-compliant with the detention officers. She physically resisted and acted aggressively towards the detention officers and deputies. Askew was visibly distraught, crying hysterically and using profane language. During the incident, Askew removed all of her clothing and was unwilling to walk unassisted to the front of the detention center. She repeatedly pulled away from and attempted to wrestle away from the detention officers.

The Sheriff’s Office reported back in March, “…at one point during the incident, all available detention staff and officers were assisting with the situation. The detention officers and deputies were able to deescalate the situation by utilizing calming language, patience, and understanding. The use of excessive force was avoided and no one involved sustained injury. Askew was successfully transported to another detention facility for safekeeping.”

Juanita Askew should be considered dangerous and she has violent tendencies and abrupt mood swings, according to the release involving the Amber Alert. Juanita Askew is also the sister to Chauncy Askew, 18, of Chadbourn, who was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death Trooper Kevin Conner back in January of this year, according to authorities.

Baby Lonnisha has medical issues and needs medication and a special diet. She has a red birth mark on the back of her head, a scar on her abdomen and a cyst over her right eye. She was last seen wearing a green and pink “onesie” with circle designs, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Anyone with information about Lonnisha Renee Askew or Juanita Renee Askew’s whereabouts please call the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office at (910) 862-6960 or dial 911. Sheriff James McVicker said Juanita Askew could be anywhere in North Carolina or in southeastern North Carolina or northeastern South Carolina.

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