Minnesota woman charged after kidnapping son during scheduled visitation

(KSTP) – A woman who allegedly fled the Scott County Government Center with her son on Tuesday, prompting an alert from law enforcement, has been criminally charged.

Zenitra Zaphorah Forester, 24, from Hamel, is charged with kidnapping.

Court documents show that Forester’s son was placed on a health and safety hold Friday night that expired Wednesday. During the hold, Forester was allowed to visit her child at 12:30 p.m. at the government center.

According to a criminal complaint, Forester then grabbed the child, ran out of the government center and continued running away, as a child services worker was unable to keep up with her.

Child protection workers got an email from Forester at 3:43 p.m. saying, “I thought the hold ended today, thanks for your help, me and (the child) are safe,” the complaint states. Forester allegedly sent a second message about 45 minutes later but refused to send a picture showing the boy was safe.

At around 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension issued an alert for Forester and her son.

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The two were found just after 5 a.m. Wednesday in Hager City, Wisconsin. There, Forester was arrested while the child was taken by child protection workers.

The complaint states the child’s father told child protection workers that he saw Forester throw the child on the ground and punch the child in the buttocks last week, prompting the health and safety hold. He also claimed that Forester couldn’t provide basic needs for the child and that she hadn’t been taking her medication for her mental disorder.

Forester’s first court appearance hasn’t yet been scheduled, as she’ll have to be brought back to Scott County.

Kidnapping carries up to 40 years in prison and a $50,000 fine under state law, if convicted.