March 1, 2013

Grandmother who kept tot not immediately charged

By David Hench
Staff Writer

A woman who refused to turn over her 18-month-old granddaughter to the child's mother Thursday will face no criminal charges immediately, but the case will be reviewed by prosecutors.

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Melanie Wever

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18-month-old Hazel Richards

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Cumberland County sheriff's investigators, working with the District Attorney's Office, determined that Melanie Wever would not face charges after Thursday's episode.

Wever, 48, of Indiana, was caring for Hazel Richards and visiting relatives in Maine. The child and the child's parents are also from Indiana.

The child's mother flew to Maine to get the toddler but Wever refused to turn her over, police said. Wever instead drove to Massachusetts and met the child's father – her son – who had flown from Indiana to Boston's Logan International Airport.

The father and grandmother agreed to meet with police in Massachusetts and were interviewed there.

Prosecutors authorized kidnapping charges against Wever when she refused to turn over the child, and the sheriff's office issued an alert asking other police agencies to look out for them.

Authorities said Friday that Wever won't be charged right away, but prosecutors plan to review the case after all of the investigative reports are complete.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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