Motive unclear in alleged kidnapping of SE Portland baby

Motive unclear in alleged kidnapping of SE Portland baby »Play Video
An ambulance took the baby to a hospital after someone found the 4-month-old boy in a front yard. (KATU photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Mystery still surrounds a case of a 17-year-old accused of kidnapping her cousin’s infant boy and leaving him beneath a tree in someone’s yard in Northeast Portland.

Court documents released on Wednesday say Kabriana Harper told police she stole the 4-month-old because she was concerned for his welfare and safety. She didn’t tell police is how leaving him a front yard was better than him being at home.

Harper appeared in court on Wednesday. She will be tried as an adult because second-degree kidnapping is a Measure 11 offense.

Harper is being held on $250,000 bail. Her next court appearance is March 13.

Some family members attended the court hearing in support of Harper. Eugene McCullough, Harper’s great uncle, said he was flabbergasted by the allegations.

“She’s the most bubbliest girl in the world. Y’all got her locked up here with no motive,” he said. “What do you think happened? Y’all don’t know, so why y’all got her out here like this man?”

We also tried to speak with the baby’s mother, Angel Lee, on Wednesday afternoon. She declined comment.

The case surfaced at about 2 a.m. Tuesday, when the baby's mother reported him missing. Officers searched the neighborhood near the Cedar Tree Apartments, located at 239 Southeast 148th Avenue.

Five hours later, the baby was found by a resident in the 400 block of Northeast 139th Avenue. Medics took the boy to a hospital.

Police said Harper was staying with the baby's mother for a few days and took the boy early in the morning.