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Kokomo police search for kidnapped 8-year-old girl

KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) — Kokomo police are searching for an 8-year-old they say was kidnapped from a restaurant by her biological mother last Thursday night.

Police say Ja’layia Williams, 8, of Kokomo, was taken by 29-year-old Sherica Wizzard around 8 p.m. while Wizzard and Williams were at the IHOP located at 50 West and 300 South in Kokomo.

When Kokomo police officers responded to the IHOP, Ja’layia’s father, 30-year-old Kolyaun Williams, told police that he had full custody of Ja’layia but had recently allowed Wizzard to spend time with her. He told officers that Wizzard had taken Ja’layia and another daughter to the restaurant without his permission, and that when he went to the IHOP to talk to Wizzard, she took Ja’layia and ran.

According to Williams, Wizzard and Ja’layia got into a white, four-door Pontiac with darkly tinted windows outside the Speedway across the street from the restaurant then left northbound on 931.

The white Pontiac was pulling out of the Speedway, stopped and allowed the two to get in, then drove north bound on State Road 931.

Police released photos of Williams and Wizzard. Wizzard was described by police as having short hair, standing 5-feet-3 and weighing 135 pounds. They said she was wearing a long black coat, a white shirt and dark pants.

Police describe Ja’ layia Williams as female, wearing a pink jacket, a white fleece long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans.

Kokomo police told 24-Hour News 8 that they ran an attempt to locate on Friday, and that’s when the case was opened and information they had at that time did not rise to the level of kidnapping.

The Howard County prosecutor agreed on Monday that the details of the case rose to the level of kidnapping.

Kokomo police said the incident did not meet the criteria for an Amber Alert. When 24-Hour News 8 reached out to Kokomo police, they did not provide details about that lack of criteria.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Detective Brent Wines at 765-456-7342 or the Kokomo Police Department Hotline at 765-456-7017.  You can also call Central Indiana Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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