Child unharmed after Amber Alert

Police: Columbus mother without custody accused of abducting 1-year-old son

A 1-year-old Columbus boy was found safe after his mother was accused of abducting him, setting off a statewide Amber Alert that the toddler was in extreme danger.

The mother, Andrea Rhoades, 43, 3301 Sycamore St., was arrested by Columbus police at 9:15 a.m. Sunday after she returned with the boy to a home in the 3300 block of Sycamore Drive at 9:15 a.m., police said. The boy, Solomon Rhoades was unharmed, police said.

She was taken into custody without incident and is being held at the Bartholomew County Jail on a preliminary charge of interference with custody, police said. In the Amber Alert, she was identified as the non-custodial mother of the toddler.

The Amber Alert was issued at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday by the Columbus Police Department and Indiana State Police after they reported the child was last seen at 8:30 p.m. Saturday in Hope. The Amber Alert went out over Bartholomew County’s Everbridge notification system asking people to look for the two in a 2003 Chevrolet Blazer, and gave the vehicle’s license number.

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This is Andrea Rhoades’ second arrest involving an incident with the 1-year-old, according to police reports.

On April 21, Columbus police arrested her on a preliminary felony charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated after she was stopped with a 1-year-old child in the vehicle, police said.

An officer was sent to check on the driver at 6:30 p.m. after a witness reported a vehicle traveling with an unrestrained child on Marr Road near County Road 450N, police said.

The caller told police the driver ran off the road several times and slammed on her brakes in an attempt to get the caller to crash into her, Harris said. The caller later told police the driver stopped her SUV on Arnold Street and got out of the SUV holding the child.

The officer found the vehicle and driver, later identified as Andrea Rhoades, police said. When standing outside the vehicle holding the child, Rhoades was visibly upset and refused to follow the officer’s commands, police said.

She then attempted to get back into the SUV and pushed the officer’s hand away when he attempted to stop her, police said.

A Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputy arrived and took the child from Rhoades, who continued to struggle with the Columbus Police Department officer, police said. She was taken to the ground and handcuffed, and refused to submit to a chemical test to determine intoxication, police said.

Officers received a search warrant and took her to Columbus Regional Hospital for a blood test, Harris said. She was then taken to the Bartholomew County Jail on charges of felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated, resisting law enforcement and possession of marijuana, jail officials said.

She was released from jail on the county’s probation department pre-trial program, jail officials said. Her bond then was set at $16,000, jail officials said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.