Chick Fil A employee helps catch kidnapping suspect

Chick Fil A employee helps catch kidnapping suspect
Brian Childress
Brian Childress

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A Massachusetts kidnapping suspect remained behind bars in Lowndes County Friday night. Her three year old son, whom she is accused of kidnapping, was safe with family back in Massachusetts Friday all thanks to an aware employee at a Valdosta restaurant.

Monday afternoon, an employee at the Chick Fil A on St. Augustine Rd. noticed two women and a young child come in...the same two women and young child who had been coming in on a routine basis recently and acting suspiciously.

So, the employee called police.

"The folks at Chick Fil A did the right thing; saw some concerns with what was goin' on and called us and we got over there and one thing led to another," said Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress.

One of the women was Shannon Reckner. The detective that responded to the scene ran Reckner's name and found out that she was wanted by Barnstable, Massachusetts Police for kidnapping her three year old son.

Chief Childress said Reckner did not have full custody of her son and had gone for a visit, after which she was supposed to return her son to his legal guardian. "Mrs. Reckner failed to return her son, and during the course of that took her son and according to Massachusetts state law kidnapped her son," Chief Childress explained.

The child was flown back to Massachusetts to be with other family after being interviewed by Valdosta Police Department detectives. Friday, WALB tried to speak to the Chick Fil A employee who called 911 but was told that the restaurant's corporate office would not allow the employee to be interviewed because the investigation was still ongoing.

"What our investigation here determined," Chief Childress emphasized, "was that [Reckner] just didn't want to give her child back. She wanted custody of the child."

Chief Childress said the other woman with Reckner was a friend of hers from Massachusetts. As of Friday, she had not been arrested and was not facing any charges.

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