Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Woman might be Seminole mystery child's mom

SEMINOLE — A barefoot 2-year-old boy who wandered to a neighbor's house has been reunited with his mother, Pinellas County sheriff's deputies said.

But while authorities investigate what happened, Marcus Alexander Willis will be under the care of his grandfather, Don Mitchell Cooper, and his girlfriend, deputies said.

Willis and his mother, Natasha Lee Cooper, were visiting his grandfather on Lantana Drive when the boy apparently left the house alone before 9 a.m. Monday morning.

Deputies said Cooper, who was visiting from Georgia, awoke to discover her son missing and walked to 8470 Lantana Drive after noticing media activity at the home of 27-year-old David Parrish.

Parrish saw the child's arm reach through the chained door at 8:55 a.m., let him in and called the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. In minutes, sheriff's deputies and a horde of television cameras descended on the neighborhood trying to figure out where the little boy came from.

Willis was taken to the Sheriff's Office Child Protective Investigative Division by the time Cooper arrived but Parrish drove her to meet him and authorities.

Sheriff deputies are continuing to investigate. While that investigation continues, the boy will live with the grandfather and his girlfriend, Tara Rae Hayes, 31, though the mother will continue having access to him, authorities said.

Meanwhile, the child's father, Kristopher Willis, 32, is en route to Pinellas County from Georgia, deputies said.

No charges have been filed.


Follow This Just In on Twitter.

Woman might be Seminole mystery child's mom 06/29/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 4:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Nearly 1 in 4 Tampa Bay homeowners considered equity rich

    Real Estate

    If your home is worth at least 50 percent more than you owe, you're rich — equity rich that is.

    About one in four Tampa Bay homeowners are considered "equity rich." [Associated Press file photo]
  2. Trump strategist Steve Bannon: No military solution in North Korea


    BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon says there's no military solution to the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions, despite the president's recent pledge to answer further aggression with "fire and fury."

    Steve Bannon, chief White House strategist to President Donald Trump, has drawn fire from some of Trump's closest advisers. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press
  4. Dunedin man accused of possessing child pornography


    DUNEDIN — A 57-year-old man was arrested Wednesday, accused of intentionally downloading child pornography, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

    Richard Beal Anger, 57, of Dunedin faces 11 counts of possession of child pornography. [Courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Pence cuts short Latin America trip and pressures Chile to sever all ties to North Korea


    SANTIAGO, Chile — Vice President Mike Pence is cutting short his Latin America trip by one day to return to Washington for a strategy meeting Friday at Camp David with President Donald Trump and the national security team.

    Vice President Mike Pence urged Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to take a tougher stand against North Korea on Wednesday in Santiago, Chile.