Lone Star Fugitive Task Force seeks public help to find mother of 1-month-old baby

National

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force is asking for public help Wednesday to find the mother of a 1-month-old baby boy who was the subject of an Amber Alert Monday.

The Austin Police Department sought help from the task force Monday to find 30-year-old Brittany Sadi Smith. The woman is known to have previously lived in the Austin area and frequently travels to Killeen.

Smith is described as a 30-year-old black woman who is about 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 220 pounds. She has black hair, brown eyes and a tattoo on her left arm.

She also has an extensive criminal history that includes injury to a child, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, assault with bodily injury, theft, failure to identify and resisting arrest.

If you have information that can assist this fugitive investigation, you’re asked to contact the U.S. Marshals tip line at 1-800-336-0102. Your identity will remain anonymous.

The charge

On July 23, the Department of Family and Protective Services got an anonymous tip that 30-year-old Brittany Sadi Smith had given birth at Ascension Seton Northwest Hospital. It was also reported that she’d checked in under a different name.

Smith had had previous run-ins with Child Protective Services for “parental termination, which was related to neglect and abuse on previous children she had given birth,” police wrote in the court document. Multiple CPS investigators arrived at the hospital and staff provided them with “Verification of Birth Facts,” filled out by Smith.

In the document, CPS officials found she had used a fake name, Brandy Yovonne Phillips and she had given that last name to the baby, who was born on July 19. Hospital staff also told CPS officials the baby’s mother had the hospital release him to a woman she said was her sister the previous day.

CPS showed hospital staff photos of Smith and Carl Hayden, the father of her other children, and they identified them as the couple who had just had a child. Investigators also discovered the woman Smith said was her sister was actually her cousin, 41-year-old Brandy Galbert, also known as Brandy Phillips.

Investigators questioned Smith and Hayden on July 23 and they each stuck to the story that Smith’s name was “Brandy Galbert” and Hadyen’s name was “Dennis Thompson.” Neither cooperated with CPS officials and Smith then abruptly checked out of the hospital against the advice of medical staff.

One day later, DFPS was granted a “temporary managing conservatorship,” for the baby and on July 26, they arrived at the real Galbert’s Killeen home with a copy of the court order.

“Brandy Galbert (aka Brandy Phillips) claimed she was the one who gave birth to the baby at the hospital, and would not give up custody of her son or identify his location to Child Protective Services,” police wrote.

On Aug. 6, Smith, Hayden and Galbert were ordered to appear in court for a hearing at the 200th Judicial Court. Smith denied giving birth to the baby and claimed there was no baby. Hayden said he didn’t know where the baby was or who might have him. Galbert did not show up for the hearing.

Police asked the public to keep an eye out for the baby Friday and released photos of him. Then on Monday, they issued an Amber Alert in an attempt to find him. Family members said Galbert brought the baby to the Safe Alliance shelter in southeast Austin Monday evening and was taken into custody after the shelter called APD.

Galbert was booked into the Travis County jail on a $5,000 bond and is facing felony interference in the custody of a child. By Tuesday morning, she had bonded out.

Search for parents continues

Police are still looking for Smith and Hayden.

Smith is described as a 30-year-old black woman who is about 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 220 pounds. She has black hair, brown eyes and a tattoo on her left arm.

She faces the same charge as her cousin, though she would face a bond that was four times the amount of her cousin when apprehended.

Hayden is also at large. He’s described as a 37-year-old black man who is about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing about 125 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

Safeguards in place

According to Child Protective Services, when a mother who’s had her parental rights terminated in the past gives birth, a red flag is sent to CPS, sparking an automatic investigation.

A spokesman for CPS says many times, even if people’s parental rights have been terminated with their other children in the past, that doesn’t mean any future children they have will automatically be taken away. It depends on the current circumstatnces.

That CPS spokesman says, however, that a baby will be taken away at birth in cases where the parents have a history of extreme child abuse or the mother has been abusing alcohol or drugs while pregnant, resulting in the baby being born with fetal alcohol syndrome, drug addiction or withdrawals.

KXAN tried to get more information from Ascension Seton on how the hospital chain checks or verifies that mothers coming in and giving birth are who they say they are. KXAN also asked about the hospital chain’s system for reporting to CPS who is giving birth. A spokesperson said Tuesday that the questions had been received, but hadn’t given any answers to the questions as of Tuesday evening.

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