ANDERSON, Ind. -- Prosecutors have filed charges against an Indiana woman investigators believe posed as a child protective services employee in order to kidnap a young mother and steal her baby in efforts of passing the child off as her own.
Geraldine Jones, 36, of Gary, Indiana, has been charged with murder, Level 3 felony kidnapping and Level 3 felony criminal confinement in connection with the slaying and kidnapping of 23-year-old Samantha Fleming. The charging documents show Jones committed the criminal confinement while armed with a deadly weapon.
Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said Jones will be prosecuted in Madison County since the crime originated in Anderson, Indiana, a city about 40 miles northeast of Indianapolis. He said Madison County has jurisdiction in the case, which is why his office filed charges Monday.
Cummings said Jones has been arrested and is being held in a medical facility in Texas. His office is currently going through the extradition process to bring her back to Anderson when she is released from the facility.
Fleming is believed to have been killed in Gary, located in Lake County, which is where her body was found on April 17. Her body was found Friday afternoon. She had been stabbed to death, her body doused with bleached, wrapped in plastic and stuffed into a bin.
Fleming disappeared from Anderson around April 6.
Anderson police detectives believe that Jones lured Fleming and her 3-week-old daughter, Serenity, to the Gary area by posing as an investigator with the Department of Child Services.
"In the days prior to Samantha and Serenity having gone missing, a woman had contacted Samantha’s mother by phone," according to a statement from police. "The woman, having identified herself as a DCS employee, was soliciting information about Samantha and Serenity. The woman provided the names of legitimate DCS employees, and implied that she was familiar with Samantha’s previous DCS case history."
Since the disappearance, Anderson police determined that no Department of Child Services employee or staff member had visited the Anderson, Indiana, residence Fleming had been sharing with her daughter and boyfriend.
Investigators who found the body in Gary also found Fleming's daughter, unharmed. According to a press release from Anderson police, the baby was in the care of Jones' sister.
Neighbors told police that Jones had told them she was pregnant, and attempted to pass Fleming's baby off as her own. Her apartment had a nursery, crib, changing table and other items needed to care for an infant, police told Chicago-area media.
Details for this story were reported by The Herald Bulletin in Anderson, Indiana.