Two Memphians have been charged on federal kidnapping charges after they later abandoned a two-year-old boy in a Southaven Goodwill store.
Shelby County Sheriff's Office
Jeremy Fitzgerald, 34, and Turliscea Turner, 29, were formally charged Thursday, December 17th, by U.S. Attorney Michael Dunavant. The two each face a possible sentence of 20 years and up to life in federal prison, up to life of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. There is no parole in the federal system. (No photo for Turner was available in the Shelby County inmate directory.)
Other charges and stiffer penalties could come for the Fitzgerald and Turner. The case will be presented later to a federal grand jury to consider an indictment against them, and more federal charges may be added.
Here’s is how Dunavant’s office described the crime how the two were caught:
“According to information presented in the complaint, Fitzgerald offered to have Turner, posing as Fitzgerald's sister, babysit the child while Fitzgerald and the child's mother went to Nashville, Tennessee, overnight on December 13th, 2020.
“Turner agreed to watch and keep the child with her overnight. While Fitzgerald and the child's mother were in Nashville, Fitzgerald demanded that the child's mother work for him as a prostitute. When she refused, Fitzgerald left her in Nashville. He did not answer her repeated telephone calls.
“Fitzgerald did, however, speak to the child's aunt. In that conversation, Fitzgerald demanded money for the return of the child. Turner was aware that Fitzgerald had demanded money in exchange for the child's return.
“The next morning, Fitzgerald, Turner, and an unknown subject drove and transported the child across a state boundary from Memphis to Southaven, Mississippi. When they stopped at a gas station, Fitzgerald took the child out of the car to a nearby Goodwill store and abandoned him there. Turner went into the gas station; she knew that the child had been left at the Goodwill store.
“Southaven Task Force Officers recovered surveillance video that showed the maroon vehicle that Fitzgerald and Turner had driven to Southaven with the child. The suspect vehicle was observed on Germantown Parkway in Shelby County on the afternoon of December 14th, 2020.
“When law enforcement responded to the area, Fitzgerald crashed the vehicle, and was later transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. Deputies found Turner inside a nearby Kroger, wearing the same clothing as in the surveillance video. Both subjects were taken into custody without further incident.”