The two women accused of abducting an Oklahoma baby and sparking a 14-hour search that spanned two states actually had a legal document allowing them to take the child, an Oklahoma county sheriff's official told the Los Angeles Times on Friday.
Cindy Finley, 47, of Woodlands, Texas, had a document granting her power to take 5-month-old Olivia Smith from her grandmother's Oklahoma home to the baby's aunt's home in Texas, according to Kingfisher County Undersheriff Bryon Blankenship.
Olivia was found safe around 2 a.m. Friday in Seminole, Texas, where she will remain in her aunt's custody, Blankenship said.
Finley and another woman, 43-year-old Jennifer Skousen, took Olivia from her grandmother's home in Cashion around 12:15 p.m. Thursday, according to an Amber Alert issued by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. One woman distracted the grandmother while the other took the child, according to Blankenship, who said the grandmother was not injured.
The alleged abduction touched off a sprawling search, with police believing the two women might have been trying to flee to Utah, where Skousen lives. Finley's car was also spotted in the Oklahoma panhandle, near Colorado, before police finally found the child safe nearly 450 miles away in Seminole.
Neither Finley nor Skousen has been arrested, Blankenship said. The child's birth mother, who is awaiting transfer to a federal prison in Texas on a drug charge, granted Finley the right to take Olivia to her aunt's home.
"They had a notarized piece of paper, a printed-off piece of paper allowing for power of attorney that was signed by the incarcerated birth mother," Blankenship said.
No custody papers have been filed in court, and Finley and Skousen did not tell the child's grandmother why they were at her home on Thursday, according to Blankenship.
It was not clear if the child's grandmother would be challenging the custody matter.