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Amber Alert Update: Polson police say child found, woman in custody

By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
Published On: May 19 2013 08:25:03 AM MDT
Updated On: May 20 2013 08:23:56 AM MDT
Bigcrane

Montana Department of Justice

POLSON, Mont. -

Polson Police Chief Wade Nash says authorities have recovered the missing Polson toddler and have 34-year-old Jaimie Finley in custody.

NBC Montana spoke with Nash who says any time a child is taken from their mother it’s considered a serious situation.

The Montana Department of Justice and Lake County Sheriff's Office issued the Amber Alert for a two year old girl Sunday morning after the toddler’s mother reported her missing.

According to the report the two-year-old toddler, Lilliana Dawn Marie Bigcrane, had last been seen on Saturday night around seven p.m.  Authorities say Finley entered the toddler’s mother’s home, assaulted the mother and took the child.

NBC Montana was in Lake County Sunday afternoon and spoke with the toddler’s grandmother, Launa Sampson, who tells us she feels the Amber Alert was unnecessary.

It turns out the suspect is the toddler’s aunt – Sampson says the two sister got in an argument and that’s when things got heated.

Sampson tells NBC Montana Finley watches the toddler on a regular basis and she feels the argument between sisters was blown out of proportion. 

“Jamie is the aunty and she watches her (the toddler) most of the time when her mother works,” said Sampson.  “There’s no problem … I just don’t understand.”

Polson Police Chief, Wade Nash, disagrees however.  He tells us the Amber Alert was necessary because neither the child’s mother nor father knew where the child was.

Nash tells NBC Montana Jaimie Finley is now facing a kidnapping charge.

He says issuing an Amber Alert is a huge process and in the case of a toddler being taken it's necessary.  Nash says the fact that the child was in an unknown location to the parents and possibly in danger were ground to issue the alert.

"We don't take people's words at face value when we're investigating because we have to stay neutral and keep an open mind that way we do a thorough investigation," said Nash.  "I'm completely happy with what the departments did and what my personnel did and like I said we'll continue to keep doing it the way we did this."

Nash tells NBC Montana the toddler has been placed with a family member and will be returned to her mother once the Department of Child and Family Services finishes their investigation.

NBC Montana will continue to follow this story and bring you the details as we learn more.