NEWBURYPORT, MA (WHDH) – A baby boy who was reported missing in Newburyport was found safe Tuesday afternoon when a member of his mother’s family turned him over to the Department of Children and Families in Springfield, according to state police, who say the search for his mother is ongoing.
The announcement came minutes after state police said a vehicle that four-month-old Jacob Van Voorhis and his 15-year-old mother, Shantel Van Voorhis, were believed to be traveling in had been found in Springfield with no one inside.
Shantel Van Voorhis is accused of taking her son from DARE Family Services in Newburyport, where they were both residing, at 2:25 a.m. Monday. She reportedly left Jacob’s diaper bag and ear infection medication behind.
Van Voorhis returned Jacob to a family member around 2 p.m. He was said to be unharmed. He has since been turned over to DCF, state police said. His mother’s whereabouts are not known.
“We’re thankful that Jacob is safe and that the family members did the right thing by contacting DCF upon his return,” Newburyport City Marshal Mark Murray said. “We are still actively looking for Shantel and are looking for any information in connection to her whereabouts.”
Van Voorhis has ties to Holyoke and Springfield, according to police. She may be in the company of Jonathan Heridia.
Police said she is not in any trouble and that they just want to speak with her about the incident. They believe she is with friends in Springfield.
Van Voorhis is described as 5-foot, 9-inches tall and weighing 180 pounds. She is Hispanic and white, with long, curly brown hair and hazel eyes.
Anyone with information on Van Voorhis’ whereabouts is asked to call 911 or the Newburyport Police Department at 978-462-4411.
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