UPDATE: Police fear missing mother could be in danger

Tameka Claiborne
Tameka Claiborne

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – A twist in the investigation of a child found wandering alone in Chesterfield County. Police have some answers about the little boy, but new questions about his mother.

Police classify her as a missing person and are concerned about her safety. Investigators say 27-year-old Tameka Claiborne disappeared under suspicious circumstances. They fear she may be in danger, and ask for the public's help in finding her.

Police from Richmond and Chesterfield are on the scene at her home on Blandy Avenue...that's in south Richmond near Jahnke Road. That's where she was last seen yesterday. The search began unfolding last night when her son was found wandering in a Chesterfield neighborhood.

This started off as an abandoned child case in the Addison at Swift Creek Apartments. Now it has turned into a search for that child's mother. Police are at the entrance of the complex -- showing pictures of the woman and asking questions in an effort to piece together this puzzle.

Her name is Tameka Claiborne. She's 27-years-old and lives in Richmond. Claiborne is the primary caretaker of the toddler, who was found alone -- crying in the parking lot of Swift Creek Apartments around 11:30 Tuesday night. Police re-canvassed the area Wednesday looking to identify the three year old.

"One of the cops showed me a picture this morning and said 'do you recognize this child' and I said 'I think I've seen that child around,'" neighbor Roland Maul said.

Hours after the child was found by a resident -- the toddler's father came forward to claim the boy.

"He was surprised when he saw the photo on TV. He knew right away it was his son," said Chesterfield Police Capt. Terry Peterson.

Now, police are working to pinpoint the whereabouts of the toddler's mother.

"We've been working here at the entrance of the apartment complex showing pictures of the child. We're now going to switch modes and start showing the photo of Ms Claiborne," Peterson said.

Neither Claiborne nor the toddler's father lives at apartment complex where the three year old was found, and it's unclear how the little boy ended up at the complex. The toddler's father says he has no idea where Claiborne is at and that he's praying that she's found soon. Neighbors here feel the same way.

"I hope it comes to a good end…I really do," said Maul.

Again, the missing woman is 27-year-old Tameka Claiborne, the child's mother. Police are concerned about her safety, and need your help to find her. Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.