Stabbing Leads to Woman's Arrest, Intense Search for Her 2-Year-Old Child in Freetown, Mass.

Just before 11 p.m. Friday, a police drone using a thermal camera located the woman's child in a wooded area. Given the prolonged exposure to rain and cold temperatures, the child was taken to a local hospital.


There was an intense search late Friday night for a missing 2-year-old in Freetown, Massachusetts, whose mother had allegedly stabbed someone and then fled with the toddler.

Freetown police say a resident called around 8:22 p.m. to report that a neighbor was at their door covered in blood. Responding officers learned the 61-year-old had been stabbed in the face.



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The victim, who was taken to a local hospital, identified the suspect as 25-year-old Angel-Leah Duarte and told police that she was in a nearby home.

Officers went to the home but discovered Duarte had ran away with her toddler, prompting a search for both of them.

Shortly after, a Freetown resident told police where Duarte was, and she was subsequently taken into custody, however her child was not found with her, police said.

The police department, including its K-9 unit, and the Freetown Fire Department began searching the area for the missing child, but had no success. The search intensified and authorities brought in a drone and search and rescue teams from the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council.

A reverse 911 call went out to residents alerting them of the missing child and ongoing search.

Just minutes before 11 p.m., the police drone's thermal camera located the child in a wooded area, and nearby K-9 officers were directed to that location, police said.

The child was taken to a local hospital due to the prolonged exposure to the rain and cold temperatures Friday night.

Duarte was taken to a local hospital for treatment and was arrested after her release. She is charged with attempted murder and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. Her bail was set at $50,000 and she is scheduled to be arraigned at the Fall River Justice Center on Monday.

It was not immediately clear if she had obtained an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

Police did not say who took custody of the child following Duarte's arrest.

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