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Deal: Mother kidnaps own 5-year-old daughter
Investigator: Woman took girl from legal guardians Saturday
Kimberly Jane Kennedy - photo by Special
    A Statesboro woman is behind bars without bond, charged with kidnapping her own 5-year-old daughter. Kimberly Jane Kennedy, 27, Metts Lane, was apprehended in Screven County Saturday after an alert was issued for the 5-year-old, of whom her grandparents had legal custody, said Bulloch County Sheriff's Investigator Walter Deal.
    The girl's grandparents, Kennedy's parents, obtained legal custody of the child in late December, he said. Bulloch County Superior court Judge John R. Turner issued an ex parte order granting the grandparents custody after "domestic issues" involving Kennedy, who lived with them, he said.
    Since then, Kennedy left the home, and left the child behind, he said.
    Saturday, around 2:40 p.m., Kennedy went to her parents' home and entered unannounced and without permission, Deal said. "She said 'I'm here to get (the child) and the grandmother said no.'"
    Kennedy and her mother fought physically, but Kennedy grabbed the child and left, he said.
    After a lookout was posted, someone gave investigators information about a person in Screven County that Kennedy knew, and said she may be there. Deal contacted the Screven County Sheriff's Department, who located Kennedy and the child at the home around 7:45 p.m., he said.
    Kennedy was taken into custody and transported to the Screven County Jail, then to the Bulloch County Jail, he said. The child was safely returned to her grandparents, the legal guardians.
    Kennedy was charged with kidnapping because she did not have legal custody of her daughter. She was charged with burglary for entering the home without permission, where she committed a felony (kidnapping), Deal explained. She was also charged with interference with custody, battery (family violence) and third degree cruelty to children — a charge stemming from the physical battle she engaged in with her mother, he said.
    She remains without bond awaiting further court proceedings, he said.

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