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Couple awake to find their baby missing from its crib

Talk about a Halloween fright.

George Bodo and Angela Miller woke at 3 a.m. Friday and found the crib in their bedroom was empty.

"Let me put it this way: Halloween, people get scared," said Bodo, 39, a landscaper. "Your baby's crib is right near you. Your eyes are foggy, and you look over, and you don't see her. No baby."

During the night, police say, the couple's babysitter sneaked into the unlocked house, at 8700 55th Way, and carried away 6-month-old Blaze Bodo.

Sheila G. Gamble, 39, was arrested a short time later by Pinellas Park police who found Blaze, unharmed, at Gamble's home in St. Petersburg. Gamble was charged with kidnapping, burglary and possession of marijuana. She was booked in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $110,500 bail.

"The whole thing is weird on this case," said Lee Lerchen, a police spokesman.

Gamble had Blaze earlier in the evening, but the parents said they took the baby home when they realized Gamble had been drinking.

Miller and Bodo, who are not married, put Blaze in the crib next to their bed. Bodo fell asleep. Then just before 3 a.m., Miller got a wake-up call from her boss. Bodo got up to see if Blaze was tucked in and saw she was missing.

"I thought I was in dreamland," Bodo said.

Miller, a 24-year-old machine operator, was terrified. She ripped apart the crib and tore apart their bed. Still, no Blaze. They called police, who eventually ended at Gamble's door.

"Have you got the baby?" Lerchen said the officers asked Gamble.

"No, I don't know anything about it," Gamble told them, Lerchen said.

The officers could see Blaze through the open door, so they went inside to get her.

Blaze's parents don't know what to think.

Gamble, who is a friend, had been watching Blaze for about two months. She was good with the baby, the parents said. She would sometimes say, "That's my baby; that's my baby." And Miller, Blaze's mother, would correct her: "No, that's my baby."

The only explanation the parents could give is that Gamble may have become disoriented after mixing alcohol with some medication she takes for a brain aneurysm she suffered.

Said Miller: "I don't think she meant her any harm."