Metro-East News

Mother of baby involved in Amber Alert facing child-abuse charge

A day after a 5-month-old baby was found safely following an Amber Alert, the girl’s mother was charged in connection with the incident.

Elizabeth S. Hawthorne, 29, of Chesterfield, was charged with one count of felony child abuse in St. Louis County Circuit Court. Hawthorne was being held Friday in the St. Louis County Jail on $50,000 cash-only bail.

On Thursday afternoon, an Amber Alert was issued for Eden Brooke Hawthorne. About two hours after the alert was issued, it was cancelled after it was reported that the baby was safe.

Prior to Thursday, the baby was last seen at a Church’s Chicken, 7215 Natural Bridge Road, around 8 p.m. Monday. Police said Hawthorne didn’t report the incident until late Thursday morning.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Hawthorne told police that she had befriended a “homeless couple” earlier on Monday and took them to Church’s. Hawthorne said she befriended another homeless man along the way to the restraurant and she went into the restaurant with him, leaving her daughter inside a van with the others. When Hawthorne left the restaurant, the van was gone.

The baby had been in the custody of the Missouri Department of Social Services since Tuesday. Police said the girl was retrieved from a home in Pagedale. Two persons of interest, Matthew Maufus and Laurie Beckwith, are being sought. Police believe Maufus and Beckwith are driving a dark gray 2006 Chrysler Town & Country minivan with Missouri license plates PN4R7B.

Police are asking anyone with information about the case to call Normandy police at 314-427-8000.

Don O’Brien: 618-239-2626, @DOBrienBND