BUTTE, Mont. - A newborn was taken from the hospital in Anaconda after his mom tested positive for meth. We've learned investigators found the mom and baby in a motor home at a Utah truck stop.
Police said the child is safe and in the hands of the Utah Department of Family Services.
In June, police issued a warrant for 29-year-old Michelle Yallup and put out a regional alert for the infant, saying the child could be in danger.
Two weeks after Yallup and the newborn went missing state investigators joined the search. It would be another two weeks before state and local investigators working with feds tracked Yallup down.
Authorities found Yallup on Monday, in Willard, Utah, about 52 miles north of Salt Lake City. Yallup is now being held at the Box Elder County jail.
"I'm told that she was arrested just outside Willard, Utah, at a truck stop and the baby was with her at that point," said Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff Ed Lester.
According to a press release from the Department of Justice, the Montana Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation was tipped off that Yallup was at the truck stop. DCI informed local police, who found Yallup and her baby in an orange motor home with Montana license plates.
Yallup was arrested on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and forgery. The child was taken to a hospital to be evaluated.
"The child appears to be in good condition, because that's the biggest concern," said Lester.
Lester credits the partnership between his department, Anaconda-Deer Lodge Law Enforcement, the state and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for getting the infant back to safety.
"It was well worth it when you look at the results. The baby is fine and that's the best part of the whole story," said Lester.
Lester said they couldn't have tracked down Yallup without tips from the public.
"We're grateful for all the tips people generated. Some of those tips were very valuable and you can never go wrong providing information, especially like this, you could be the person who leads us to a happy ending like this case," said Lester.
Lester said Yallup can choose to waive or fight her extradition back to Montana. If she waives it, she could be back in Anaconda as early as the end of the week. If she chooses to fight extradition, it could be more than a month before Anaconda-Deer Lodge gets a governor's warrant to return her.
NBC Montana repeatedly asked the Community Hospital of Anaconda how someone could walk out with a baby and CEO Steve McNeece just released the following statement, "We are thankful the baby has been located and are very appreciative of the efforts of local, state and federal law enforcement."
Child and Family Services in Utah and Montana are coordinating to figure out where the baby will stay in the meantime.
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