HAMILTON (CBS) – A babysitter charged with kidnapping a two-year-old from Hamilton last Friday has a history of mental illness. A court psychologist says 21-year-old Abigail Hanna is hallucinating and showing psychotic symptoms.
Court officers had to help her walk and stand as she was charged with the kidnapping and beating of 2-year-old Lyndon Albers.
Court psychologist Dr. Tammy Howe said Hanna was not communicating as she sat on the floor during an interview at the courthouse prior to her arraignment on kidnapping charges and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a cigarette.
A newly released search warrant affadavit says she babysat the girl only once in Hamilton, and after an intensive search of the area last Friday police were led to Hanna’s Topsfield home where they say she repeatedly lied, and when they noticed her hands, “Abigail Hanna told us that she got dirty when she was trying to corral a stray cat while running through the woods.”
It was eight miles away in Rowley the toddler was found sitting in leaves naked, bruised, her head shaved, and with cigarette burns.
“She was unable to have a factual understanding of the charges or understanding where she was,” said Dr. Howe.
Police say a tenant in Hanna’s Topsfield home said she had a history of lying and had a miscarriage prior to the last month.
WBZ-TV’s Kate Merrill reports
Hanna is undergoing an competency evaluation at a hospital in Worcester and is due back in court for a dangerousness hearing December 11.
Hours before Hanna’s arraignment, the toddler’s family released their first statement on the incident.
“We have suffered a horrific ordeal. We are grateful to have our daughter back. We are extremely thankful for the incredible efforts to rescue our daughter by the Police and all emergency responders. We are extremely grateful to the kind couple who found our daughter. We are extremely thankful for having the best family, friends and community supporting us through this difficult time.”
“We are asking for privacy out of respect for the young ages of our children, and out of an understanding that as parents we need to be able to restore a sense of calm, comfort, and normalcy for the well being of our children.”
A few hours later, Hanna’s family issued their own statement:
“We are so thankful that (the girl) is improving and wish her and her family complete healing in every way. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We also will continue to care for Abi, whom we love very much. We ask that everyone respect the privacy of both families in this very difficult time.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports: