Police Track New Leads In Missing Baby Case

CBS News WJZ, Baltimore/May 8, 2008

Baltimore - In recent days, Eyewitness News investigations have shed new light on a so-called cult and a multi-state murder investigation into remains found in Philadelphia and whether that tiny corpse matches the missing Baltimore child.

Kai Jackson reports the child's relatives last saw him alive two years ago at an East Baltimore park.

Seeta Newton fought back tears when she spoke about the grandson and daughter she hasn't seen for two years.

Police have confirmed they arrested three members of what she calls the cult her daughter joined before disappearing.

"Once I figured out she was in a cult, that's all I ever heard in my head. And that's why I wanted to get that baby and her out of there so bad," said Newton.

Acting on a tip, Baltimore City Police headed to Philadelphia last month where they found a child's remains stuffed inside a suitcase. The odor was masked by fabric softener and blankets.

That tipster also told authorities the child was Newton's grandson, but police are still conducting DNA tests to confirm the link.

Authorities took a DNA sample from Newton Thursday morning.

"They're still doing the DNA, and it might take a while," said Newton.

Baltimore City Police say they arrested members of the religious group on three open warrants in connection with a 2006 assault case.

They say the investigation into the tiny corpse found in Philadelphia remains open.

"It's like walking on pins and needles because you're not sure what's going to happen," said Newton.

Newton's son says the cult tried to recruit him. He says the religious group shunned formal health care and education and engaged in bizarre behavior.

"If there's a picture on the wall, they take it off and break it and shout at the wall like, 'Demon get out! Demon get out!.' They go outside and look for women with babies who are struggling and recruit them," said Ricky Ramkissoon, uncle of the missing baby.

Newton has saved all of her grandson's toys hoping he'd someday come home. She also fears for her daughter's safety.

"If anybody knows and can talk to her, let her know her mother loves her. Her family loves her and wants her to come home," said Newton.

Newton says one of the leaders of the religious group is among those arrested.

Police say all are still in New York awaiting extradition proceedings that could land them back in Maryland.

DNA results could take several weeks to come in.

That religious group was based in a rowhome in East Baltimore before moving to New York.

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