Early Monday morning, at about 12:36 a.m., East Ridge Police responded to a kidnapping at 1122 Edwin Lane. Susan Cocke told police that her six-month-old son, Jeffery Cocke, had been taken without permission from her home by the child’s father, Joseph Franklin.
Ms. Cocke had left the child in the care of Franklin’s sister while she left the residence to get medicine. Franklin’s sister was unaware that Franklin was not allowed to take the child and did realize that he was leaving the residence with the child until after he had done so, police said.
Franklin does not have custodial rights to the child and was wanted for custodial interference at the time of the incident. Following the incident, an additional warrant was filed for kidnapping.
East Ridge criminal investigators located Franklin's vehicle at 162 Forrest Way in Whitfield County on Monday at 11:12 a.m. At about 11:16 a.m. police performed a traffic stop on Franklin just after he left that location.
East Ridge Police detectives and Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office personnel found the baby, unharmed and in good health, inside the residence at 162 Forrest Way and in the care of Franklin’s family members. Ms. Cocke arrived on the scene and took custody of the child.
Franklin was arrested and faces charges in East Ridge Court pending extradition from Whitfield County.