1. News

Deputies find parents who fled with newborn; 1-month-old is safe

Sage Cooper, center, was last seen Friday in Tampa with his mother, Kaitlynn Lovel, right. Investigators believe that Lovel, 25, absconded with the child, who was due to be taken from her under a court order. The two may be traveling with Sage's father, David Cooper, 32, left. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
Published Apr. 24, 2018

TAMPA — The 1-month-old infant reported missing Monday was found hours later about 300 miles north in Quincy, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Sage Cooper was reported to be unharmed, officials said, and Gadsden County sheriff's deputies took father David Cooper, 32, into custody on outstanding arrest warrants. The child's mother, Kaitlynn Lovel, 25, could also face charges.

The search started earlier Monday when the Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a missing child alert for Sage, the newborn son of an Illinois couple who fled to Tampa after losing custody of two other children.

The baby was born March 16 and last seen Friday at a home on Oak Pride Court in Tampa, where he lived with Lovel.

Investigators believe the father and mother absconded with the infant after learning that a Hillsborough County judge signed a court order on April 21 for Hillsborough Child Protection Investigators to immediately place the baby into state custody, said sheriff's spokesman Danny Alvarez.

Hillsborough deputies started searching for the family last week after a call from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Alvarez said. Deputies learned the couple came to Tampa during Lovel's pregnancy after child welfare workers in Illinois removed two other children from their custody.

Both Lovel and Cooper faced "significant charges of child abuse" in Illinois that led to the termination of their parental rights over two children, Alvarez said. An Illinois court placed the couple under strict orders prohibiting interactions with their children or each other, Alvarez said.

Cooper is also wanted in Illinois on multiple unrelated charges, the Sheriff's Office said. Illinois authorities said they have two active warrants for Cooper's arrest, one on a narcotics-related charge and the other on a charge of failure to appear in court for an ongoing domestic violence case.

Before the child was found and the father arrested, the Hillsborough sheriff's spokesman explained the importance of finding them:

"It's important we find these people because of their past history and age of child," he said. "We don't know what could be in this child's medical history that puts him in danger, or what kind of conditions he's living in now."

Contact Anastasia Dawson at or (813) 226-3377. Follow @adawsonwrites.


  1. Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco discuss salary and benefits during negotiations on Sept. 18, 2019. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff Writer
    The proposal is short on details, with officials saying they want to work through specifics during negotiations.
  2. A still image from a 2014 video of Granville Ritchie's interrogation with Temple Terrace detectives the day after 9-year-old Felecia Williams vanished. He is now on trial for her murder. JAMAL THALJI  |  [Photo courtesy of WTVT-Ch. 13]
    Jurors watched his interrogation the day after Felecia Williams was last seen in 2014. “This situation is very complicated for me,” he told police.
  3. Tampa investor and owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning Jeff Vinik, right, speaks about his investments in the video game industry at the eSports Summit Wednesday in Tampa as Matt Samost, Vice President of New Ventures for Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment looks on. LUIS SANTANA   |   TIMES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    A summit at USF brought together major players and explored the possibility of an esports arena.
  4. Lynn Cristina is a Wesley Chapel momma with two girls and works full time as a marketing manager. Courtesy of Lynn Cristina
    My husband and I usually divide and conquer on the parenting front — and I was a man down.
  5. Falo Kane, 32, of Clearwater, now faces four counts of sexual battery of a physically helpless person and a violation of probation charge, according to police. [CLEARWATER POLICE DEPARTMENT]  |  Clearwater Police Department
    Falo Kane now faces a total of seven counts of sexual battery of a physically helpless person.
  6. Female driver texting on mobile phone while driving. STAR TRIBUNE  |  baona/Star Tribune/TNS
    Police are choosing to issue warnings instead of tickets — so far.
  7. 7-Eleven Inc. is opening its first location in a Brandon mall. Pictured is a location in Port Richey in 2018. | [Times (2018) TYLISA JOHNSON | TIMES  |  TyLisa Johnson | Times
    It is the first of eight mall locations opening this year.
  8. Pedro Davila, 27, was arrested in Pasco County three weeks after he robbed a New York City jewelry store, authorities said. Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
    Pedro Davila was taken into custody on a rural stretch of roadway, three weeks after he and two others held up a store, authorities said.
  9. The State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville announced Wednesday that Donald Hugh Davidson Jr. had waived his right to a jury trial after pleading guilty. Photo from video/News4JAX
    Prosecutors said Davidson entered Roseann Welsh’s Middleburg home and strangled and stabbed her.
  10. Hurricane Dorian evacuees wait for family and friends to arrive after evacuating on the Grand Celebration cruise ship from Freeport, a city in the Grand Bahamas on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019 in Riviera Beach. The cruise ship transported hundreds of evacuees seeking passage from Freeport after the damaged caused by Hurricane Dorian. BRYNN ANDERSON  |  AP
    The Bahamians who arrived Wednesday from Freeport say they will temporarily stay with relatives or friends before traveling back.