Child safe, mother arrested in bizarre Echols Co. truck theft

Child safe, mother arrested in bizarre Echols Co. truck theft

ECHOLS CO., GA (WALB) - Around 9:15 a.m. Monday, Bettie Minfield was stopped in the truck the Echols County Sheriff's Office said she stole from 473 Carter Rd. Sunday morning.

She was arrested and the six year old twin son that she had taken with her was returned to his father safe and sound. "The vehicle had sustained some damage to it, so we feel they've been drivin' around through the woods," said Echols County Sheriff Randy Courson.

Deputies originally thought she was headed for Michigan to visit family, as that is what her other twin son had told deputies when he was found abandoned in Minfield's car at the home on Carter Rd. Sunday evening.

"[The child] had been there, from what we could tell, from around 10:45 that morning until 7 in the evenin' with the windows about halfway down. Left with no water or food or anything," Sheriff Courson explained.

The child was not harmed. Sheriff Courson looked after the child Sunday evening until the child was reunited with hid father after the father picked up the other child from the scene Monday morning.

"What was goin' on," shouted the children's father as he spoke to Minfield as she sat handcuffed in the back of an Echols County Sheriff's Deputy's patrol car at the scene. "What's goin' on, baby? What's goin' on? Why did you steal that guy's car?"

Sheriff Courson said deputies were very concerned for the safety of the son Minfield had with her after learning what had happened and he was glad they found the truck when they did.

"We're not real sure of the mother's mental state at this time," Sheriff Courson pointed out.

A dog belonging to the truck's owner hopped in the truck when it was taken Sunday, but it, too, was found safe and sound this morning and both the truck and the dog were returned to the owner.

WALB did try to speak with the owner of the truck and the children's father, but both declined to be interviewed.

As of Monday, Minfield was charged with theft of a motor vehicle and one count of felony child abuse, but Sheriff Courson said a second count is possible.

Sheriff Courson also thanked the Department of Corrections K-9 unit that assisted in the search as well as the Department of Natural Resources.

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