Search still on for Sequatchie County abduction suspect - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Search still on for Sequatchie County abduction suspect

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DUNLAP, TN (WRCB) -- Police say the search for 24-year-old Heather Oakes, her boyfriend, and her 2-year-old daughter is still on.

Sunday, the little girl went missing from Tammy Lewis' home while she held a birthday party for Oakes' 6-year-old daughter.

Lewis says at some point Oakes went outside with the 2-year-old and peeled off in her boyfriend's car.

Lewis says she was bothered by what happened.

"Yes, it does, especially in my yard," Lewis says. "That just upset everybody."

Police say Oakes' mother and father have custody of the kids, but Lewis has been helping out with the oldest.

She says the little one is taking it the hardest.

"She doesn't want to be alone," Lewis says. "She is very insecure and very upset about all of this."

Chief Deputy Randall Lockhart says investigators talked to Oakes' mother, who claims the child is "okay" and would be returned if the sheriff's office dropped the charges.

He says that is something his department just can't do.

"The judge or the District Attorney's office has that authority, but whether they will or not, I have no idea. She will have to come here and turn herself in, and then go through the court system."

As for everyone involved the concern is for the safety of the 2-year-old.

Lewis says, "I don't' know if she has a home to go to. She didn't have a car seat in the car. I don't know if she had diapers or anything for the baby."

It was believed Oakes could have been in the South Atlanta area, middle Georgia, or Florida.

The sheriff's office says they don't have the authority to drop the charges.

Oakes is facing charges of custodial interference which could be a felony if she crosses the state line.

If you have any information, you're asked to call (423) 949-7750.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this developing story.

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