Woman charged with abducting child from home

May 07, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Martinsburg woman was charged with abduction after she allegedly walked into a neighbor's home on Monday, coerced a 4-year-old girl to go with her and then took the child to Wal-Mart, according to court records.

Dawn Christine Shorb, who also goes by the name Dawn Buckmaster, 39, of Jeb Stuart Lane, was charged with one felony count of child abduction. She was in Eastern Regional Jail Tuesday on $20,000 bail.

Police learned of the abduction when a caller told police a woman had taken a child on North Spring Street.

Less than an hour later, a woman at Wal-Mart on Foxcroft Avenue called police, saying a young girl in the store was not wearing a jacket, shoes or socks, said Detective Cpl. L.G. Witt, with the Martinsburg Police Department. The caller asked police to check on the girl, because the day was cold and rainy.


After the caller gave a description of the girl, police realized she matched the description of the missing child. Officers who went to the store confirmed the child was the one reported missing.

When police spoke to the girl, whose name was not included in court records, she said that Shorb came into her home through the back door. They went next door, where the woman made the girl a bologna sandwich, and then walked several blocks to Wal-Mart, Witt said.

After police asked the child whether she was hurt, the girl said no. The girl also told police she had never before seen Shorb.

At some point, the girl told Shorb she was cold and wanted to go home, police said.

The girl's father told police that he did not know Shorb, and had not given her permission to take his daughter, court records say. Shorb was apparently about to move into the home next door to the child's, Witt said.

Witt said if the worried woman had not called from Wal-Mart, the ending for the girl may not have been as happy.

"Time is of the essence," Witt said. "We could've been looking for a long time. Maybe we would've found her. Maybe we wouldn't have."

Shorb refused to give police a statement, he said.

A conviction on a charge of child abduction carries a prison sentence of one to 10 years. The charge is different from kidnapping, which carries a sentence of up to life in prison.

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