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Missing girls found; 12-year-old charged

Published Sep. 13, 2005

An infant and her 4-year-old sister were returned unharmed to their mother early Thursday after a 12-year-old girl took them for 18 hours because she wanted to play mommy, Tampa police said.

The 12-year-old was charged with a felony count of interference with child custody and taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center.

Investigators were trying Thursday to track exactly where the girl had taken Tyqueisha Brown and her 6-week-old sister, Jamesha McBride. She told police she had fed the children, and a doctor examined them and determined they were fine.

"Overall, it appears she did a pretty good job of caring for them," Tampa police spokesman Steve Cole said. "She turned out to be a fairly good mother but a very bad little girl."

The girls were with their mother, Cynthia Brown, visiting a cousin's house at the Ponce De Leon public housing complex Wednesday when the 12-year-old, an acquaintance of the cousin, stopped by about noon and asked to take the children to the store.

Family members called police about 2{ hours later.

As she walked with the little girls, pushing the infant in a stroller Wednesday afternoon, the girl told people she was 18 and was the children's mother, investigators said.

Police alerted the media late Wednesday night.

Just before 6 a.m. Thursday, police were called by residents at a home on Baker Street and told the children were there.