CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A 21-year-old woman could spend nearly 11 years behind bars for abducting a 3-month-old baby from Newport News earlier this year.
During her trial Friday, Tykirah Reid plead guilty to felony abduction and misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Reid’s initial charge of felony child neglect and endangerment was amended to the misdemeanor change included in Friday’s plea.
Reid’s attorneys explained why the woman traveled from Chesterfield to Newport News on Feb. 4, 2021.
Three-month-old Jiraiya Cherry’s parents said they found Reid in an online babysitter group. The family members’ account is that the baby’s uncle was at the home, but left to go to another room so the babysitter could spend some time with Jiraiya. When the uncle returned, the babysitter and the baby were gone.
The babysitter turned out to be Reid.
Jiraiya was reported missing by his family around 10:20 a.m. The baby had last been seen in Newport News in the 13300 block of Preakness Drive around 9 a.m.
Police suspected that an “unknown babysitter” had taken the child. The child’s family told WRIC sister station, WAVY, that this was the first day the babysitter watched him.
Jiraiya was located later in the day in Chesterfield — more than an hour away from where he was taken — at 6:43 p.m., police said.
Chesterfield police said they received information that Jiraiya could be located in Chesterfield. Officers were patrolling and doing checks in apartment complexes when they saw the suspect vehicle on Goolsby Avenue.
Police said Reid exited the apartment with the child in her arms, but once she saw police, she attempted to run back inside.
Earlier this year, Reid’s attorney, Andrew Protogyrou, asked for an evaluation of her sanity at the time of the offenses. The evaluation came back in June stating that she was experiencing depression and she was sane during the time of the abduction.
Protogyrou explained that Reid had been in a relationship in 2020 for several months. During that time, she became pregnant and miscarried. The relationship ended and she became depressed. This drove the woman to create a fake Facebook profile and offer babysitting services.
The defense claimed Reid’s ex-boyfriend was mentally and physically abusive. After her miscarriage, he refused to talk to her. That’s when Reid had the idea to fake a pregnancy and show up with a child to try and reconcile, Protogyrou said.
The defense said she had a fake pregnancy belly and sonogram to make it look real.
When Reid met Jiraiya’s mother Jerkia Cole on Facebook she took the babysitting job to watch Jiraiya. She then reportedly stole license plates then drove to Newport News.
Protogyrou said on the drive to Newport News that Reid thought, “I just wanted to be loved.”
On the way back from the abduction, Protogyrou said Reid pulled over and had second thoughts, but ultimately decided to go along with her plan.
During the trial, Reid addressed the baby’s family directly, saying, “I made a huge mistake. I’m sorry I hurt your family. I’m young … I never meant no harm.”
The child’s parents were in the courtroom and heard Reid’s defense and apology.
“It’s a lot to hear,” said Cole. “Knowing when I went through my miscarriage and that she took my baby… that was a lot.”
“It made me emotional. I’ve been through a miscarriage before, but I never went that far with my emotions.”
Jiraiya’s father Harrison Cherry said, “Just because you got caught doesn’t mean you still didn’t mean to do it. You still meant to do it – you just got caught.
“I’m just ready for it to be all over.”
Reid’s sentencing hearing is for Oct. 15, 2021, at 9 a.m.