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Missing baby found in Provo apartment

Man is arrested; young women helped tend infant

SHARE Missing baby found in Provo apartment

A 3-month-old boy missing since Friday was placed in protective custody Monday morning, and the man police say took the child has been booked into the Salt Lake County Jail.

The baby was in good health when police discovered him at Raintree Apartments, 1849 N. Freedom Blvd., in Provo just after midnight Monday. The complex houses many college students.

A group of college-age women living in the building had helped care for the baby since Saturday, Provo Police Capt. Brad Leatham said.

Detectives from Salt Lake police are expected to screen charges sometime this week, Sgt. Mark Scharman said.

Douglas Wilcox, 23, was booked into jail for investigation of kidnapping and abduction.

Police are investigating why the mother, 22, gave her son to the man, whom she'd known less than two months and who had only watched the baby for a short time on one other occasion.

"It's extremely odd and that's why we've taken the baby into protective custody," Scharman said. "We need to have a judge review the situation for this infant and decide how come this happened — was there negligence on the mom's part?"

The baby's mother left the child with the man Friday morning and was to pick him up at 4 p.m. at an entrance to Crossroads Plaza, Salt Lake police detective Dwayne Baird said. The man and baby never showed up.

Riding on a UTA bus from Salt Lake City to Provo Saturday, the man met a woman who lived at Raintree Apartments, Leatham said. The

woman agreed to let him stay at her apartment, Leatham said.

After seeing the man's photo on the news, one of the women living at the complex called police just before midnight Sunday, Leatham said.

"The people who did help him were lied to," Scharman said. "Those who had been helping him had realized the fact that it wasn't the situation they'd been told."

When police arrived at the apartment complex, the man had left the baby with the women while he went to the store to buy diapers and vitamins, Leatham said.

The man was taken into custody without incident when he returned from the store, Leatham said.

The women told police the man didn't show a lot of care or attachment toward the baby, Leatham said.

On Saturday, police received a call from a man who ex-

plained he was caring for a baby and couldn't find the mother. Police asked the man where he was and he said he didn't know, Baird said. He disconnected before they could receive more details. Police were unable to trace the phone number.

Court records show Wilcox had separate 1997 convictions for theft by deception, a class B misdemeanor, and attempted unlawful sexual activity with a minor, a class A misdemeanor. In 1999 he was convicted of attempting to receive or transfer a stolen car, a third-degree felony, according to court records.

E-MAIL: djensen@desnews.com

Contributing: Jesse Hyde