DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A woman accused of trying to kidnap a girl walking with her mom on Mother’s Day said seeing the pair together made her “very jealous” and want to separate them, Daytona Beach police Chief Jakari Young said in an update.
Young said 30-year-old Salimah McCann, who faces charges for attempted kidnapping and battery, is a veteran with a history of mental illness and was depressed seeing the mother-daughter duo on the holiday as she had previously lost custody of her own child.
McCann, who is being held without bond, was initially arrested Tuesday on unrelated charges before being charged in connection with the attempted kidnapping of the 6-year-old-girl at the 700 block of Halifax Avenue around 11:45 a.m. Sunday.
Surveillance video shows the pair walking along the street and the suspect walking away after police said she tried and failed to remove the child from her mother’s grip and ran away.
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Young said the girl didn’t sustain any injuries.
“(McCann) admitted to her actions,” Young said during a news briefing on Wednesday. “What she wanted to do was basically just to separate the two of them. She said she really had no intent on kidnapping the child, but she was very upset by seeing that mother and daughter walking together. That triggered something inside of her.”
The chief said the attempted kidnapping did not have anything to do with human trafficking.
“We’re dealing with a mentally ill suspect, who is now in custody,” Young said. “So I don’t stand here and make any excuses for her actions, but her history is what it is.”
Young added that McCann has a criminal history in Florida and South Carolina, where she has faced charges for violations of an injunction for domestic violence and of pretrial release.
The chief further said he is not sure what services have been offered to her in the past in reference to her mental health.
After the attempted kidnapping on Halifax Avenue, a nearby church and school, Our Lady of Lourdes and Lourdes Academy, sent out a notification to parents advising them to not allow children to walk home alone that read in part:
“Given this situation, I would like to ask all parents/guardians to drop off and pick up their children each day from school. In situations where a child must walk home, I encourage you to please contact the School Office. It is my hope that the diligent work of the Daytona Beach Police Department’s investigation will help ensure this will not happen again. However, in doing our part to ensure the safety of all students, it is important for our school families to be aware of this incident.”Lourdes Academy
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