Deputy finds baby alive in bean field, calls rescue "unbelievable"

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URBANA--An infant girl allegedly taken by her father is found alive and well, and the deputy who found the six-month old says it's a miracle she survived.

After hours combing through soggy fields with mud so thick it could suck off shoes and fresh coyote tracks throughout, Champaign County Sheriff's Deputy Chad Beasley expected the worst.

"We all, I think, collectively-Captain Cook, everybody-thought it was not going to be a good outcome," said Beasley, who's been on the force for 14 years. "Based on the information that developed."

Thomas Boitnott allegedly kidnapped his infant daughter, Karma, around 11 Thursday morning. He was arrested nine hours later after leading authorities on a chase through a field near 1900 County Road 2100 E in rural Saint Joseph. But when he was taken into custody, he was alone and uncooperative.

"To say it nicely, he wasn't quite forthcoming," said Deputy Chief Allen Jones.

Information from neighbors gave investigators a general idea of where the baby might be found.

But it was instinct that brought Beasley to this particular field on County Road 2300N, about a half a mile east of CR 1900E, and a soft whimper he says sounded like a cat, that lead to his amazing discovery.

"She was laying face-down, in the mud. And it wasn't quite as thick where she was found compared to the edge of the water,but it was thick enough," said Beasley. "Unbelievable. I mean that's all I can say that the kid's alive in the middle of the field after all those hours."

Boitnott was arraigned in court Friday afternoon on charges of theft, kidnapping, and attempted first degree murder for leaving the baby outside on a day where temperatures reached 89 degrees.

If convicted on all charges, he faces anywhere from six to 43 years in prison. He will undergo a psychiatric evaluation before trial and is being held on $1,500,000 bond.

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