Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dad accused of shoplifting, abandoning 3-month-old daughter when running from store (Somersworth, New Hampshire)

The accused is dad MATTHEW SORDIFF.

Father Accused Of Shoplifting, Leaving Baby Behind
Man Charged With Endangering Welfare Of Minor
POSTED: 7:25 am EDT August 23, 2011
UPDATED: 6:31 pm EDT August 23, 2011

SOMERSWORTH, N.H. -- A man was accused of shoplifting in Somersworth and then abandoning his infant daughter when he tried to run away.

Matthew Sordiff, 21, was charged with willful concealment and endangering the welfare of a child.

Police said that Sordiff was at a Somersworth Market Basket when he was approached by store personnel about baby food he was placing in his 3-month-old daughter's diaper bag.

"The individual made his way to the exit of the Market Basket and stopped momentarily outside of Market Basket to set his daughter down," said Capt. Russ Timmons.

Police said Sordiff then took off running, leaving the baby behind in her stroller. Timmons said the girl was never in any danger thanks to customers and workers at the store.

"Once the child was put down, people took concern and cared for the baby," he said.

Sordiff's mother-in-law, Lorie Baxter, said he was acting out of desperation and panicked.

"I didn't think he would ever do anything like leave the baby behind, but he panicked," she said. "He didn't know what to do. He thought the baby's mom was coming out -- she was right behind him -- and she wasn't there."

Police said others followed Sordiff and managed to alert police to his location, about 600 yards from the store, where he was taken into custody. The baby's mother, Brianne Baird, was also arrested. According to court paperwork, employees saw her giving Sordiff some of the items found in the diaper bag.

Baxter said her daughter didn't know any crime was taking place. The baby is now in her mother's custody.

Sordiff was arraigned on the charges Tuesday morning, and his family is trying to come up with his bail money.