Police search Shelton's home

April 08, 2004|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - An glimpse into the life of Tanya Shelton is forming this week after police discovered baby items and miscarriage instructions in a nursery at her home, less than a week after she allegedly kidnapped an infant from its mother's arms.

Stanford Police executed a search warrant Tuesday of the residence of Shelton, 24, of Aberdeen Drive, Lexington. Shelton was arrested Friday on charges of kidnapping newborn Grayci Barrows from Fort Logan Hospital.

The items recovered by Stanford Detective Rick Edwards reflect the typical preparations of an expectant mother, such as notes that list names and gifts received at a baby shower and the book, "What to Expect When You're Expecting."

A baby room was included in the search, where a Wal-Mart gift registry announcement and wish list for Tanya Sholtz, another name used by Shelton, and John Coyle was found on the changing table. Police also recovered an ultrasound, reading stating, "It's a boy."


The discovery of miscarriage instructions strengthens the statements made by family members that Shelton may have previously miscarried. The instructions were printed at St. Joseph's Hospital, Lexington, in March 2003.

The miscarriage instructions and follow up care sheet were found in Shelton's bedroom near a list of "6 Steps to Having a Baby."

Putting together a puzzle

Edwards said his investigation was similar to putting together a puzzle, and the results of the search warrant were additional pieces to the picture as a whole. "Every little piece of the puzzle helps," said Edwards. He declined to comment further on how the new puzzle pieces would affect the case. Shelton's family said that, despite difficulty conceiving and a past miscarriage, she had always wanted a baby.

"She had told us she's been pregnant before," said Juanita Rayens, Shelton's great aunt.

Two weeks ago, Rayens and Shelton's mother, Sherry Emerson had held a baby shower in Danville for the supposedly-expecting Shelton.

"I was just shocked, totally shocked. We had the baby shower for her and they were getting their new baby room together. It was just so nice," said Emerson in an earlier interview with Louisville's Courier-Journal.

Shelton pleaded not guilty at her arraignment Monday, and is now lodged at the Lincoln County Regional Jail on a $200,000 cash bond. She could be indicted on Friday by a Lincoln County grand jury.

Shelton is scheduled to next appear in court at 2 p.m. April 12 for a preliminary hearing.

Meanwhile the Stanford Police Department is drawing praise from the mayor for its quick response and prevention of a tragedy.

"I'm very proud of our police department, every member," said Stanford Mayor Eddie Carter. "I think our police department, with their very quick response with getting the Amber Alert out; I just want to compliment the whole police force for getting on this so quickly. They did an outstanding job."

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