Kidnapped baby taken into care amid claims family member tried to sell him

By Calvin Palmer

The Tennessee newborn kidnapped by a woman posing as an immigration official is in foster care along with three siblings following allegations that a family member tried to sell the baby.

Week-old Yair Anthony Carillo was recovered safely Friday, three days after he was taken from his home. The state has taken custody of the children away from his mother, 30-year-old Maria Gurrolla.

Child welfare officials would say only that Maria Gurrolla’s children were placed in foster care for “safety” reasons. A juvenile court hearing is expected in Nashville today.

But sources associated with the case said a family member tried to sell the child.

Tammy Renee Silas, 39, of Ardmore, Alabama, is in custody on a federal kidnapping charge. Authorities have not yet established whether she was working alone.

Silas was charged with kidnapping and remained in federal custody yesterday, two days after police said they found Yair at her home about 80 miles south of Nashville near the Tennessee line.

A car that police said she rented was seen on a surveillance video following Gurrolla before the attack, and the car rental information led police to her home.

Officials say Gurrolla and her baby were targeted when she visited a state office about receiving assistance under the Women, Infants and Children food program.

Silas has not been charged in the brutal attack on Gurrolla, who was choked and stabbed several times, including in the neck and chest.

Gurrolla told investigators she had never seen the woman who stabbed her. She said she heard the attacker use her phone to call someone and say in Spanish, “The job is done” and that the mother “was dying.”

Police have not released a motive, but Silas’ live-in boyfriend, Martin Rodriguez, said Silas could not have children and wanted to adopt a child from a relative who was going to jail.

She told him she was going to El Paso, Texas, to get the child, and he said she had a newborn with her when he picked her up from the airport in Huntsville, Alabama.

[Based on a report by the Associated Press.]

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