Morgan Hill police are searching for a mother who abandoned her 10-year-old daughter after an alleged shoplifting attempt and then fled with her 11-month old son.
Marcy Keelin, 38, is wanted on a $50,000 warrant in connection with a Sept. 19 incident in which she allegedly used her 10-year-old daughter to help her shoplift and then abandoned the girl when they were caught.
Police say Keelin told her daughter to wait near exit doors of the Safeway at 235 Tennant Station Way. But when the girl saw her mother's car pull up and pushed the cart outside the store, she was confronted by store employees.
Keelin saw this and allegedly drove away and left the girl behind.
Keelin has been missing since that day, but the search for her took on a new urgency Friday when police learned that she had her 11-month-old son Ashton Keelin with her, Sgt. Troy Hoefling said. In addition, Keelin, who has a history of mental health problems and is not taking medication, made suicidal threats Friday to police.
"We had contact with her earlier today via the phone," Hoefling said. "We asked her to turn herself in and she said she'd rather die."
The threats prompted police to issue an alert warning that the boy could be in danger and asking law enforcement to be on the lookout for Keelin.
Keelin is believed to be traveling with a man who is possibly her boyfriend, Eldon Price, Hoefling said. He does not appear to be related to the children, and police are still trying to confirm whether he is from Wyoming, where Keelin is from.
Police have received reports that they were in the Reno, Nev. area as of 4 p.m. Friday and also reports that they are in San Jose, so they are currently pursuing both leads. It is possible she is heading back to Wyoming, although that has not been confirmed.
Keelin has allegedly stolen from other stores before. Security videos from a Safeway store revealed that in early September, Keelin and her daughter managed to successfully steal a cart full of groceries, police said.
Following last week's incident, the girl was put in the care of her grandmother.
Keelin is described as white, 5 feet 11 inches tall, and weighing about 200 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes. She often drives a 1999 green Ford Explorer with a Wyoming license plate number 4-11118, but police say she may have replaced the plates with stolen California plates.
Keelin is not thought to be armed, or to pose a danger to anyone other than herself or possibly her child, Hoefling said.
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