Amber Alert for missing Wisconsin infant canceled after child found safe; 3 taken into custody
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. — A statewide Amber Alert issued for a 2-month-old baby boy has been canceled after the child was found safe in Columbia County on Thursday.
The Wisconsin Rapids Police Department said it was investigating a possible child neglect or abuse case and was trying to check on the wellbeing of Dorian Giesen when the alert was issued. When officers tried to meet with his non-custodial mother, 28-year-old Haley Pelot of Wisconsin Rapids, she allegedly sped off, starting a car chase. Police stopped the chase when Pelot reportedly threatened physical harm to the baby.
Authorities later received information that a vehicle passed through Columbia County in the morning and was possibly in the Rio area. Local police and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office were sent to begin their search.
A Columbia County deputy found the suspect’s vehicle in Rio. The car was spray-painted, had its license plates removed with different plates attached and showed other signs of someone attempting to disguise the vehicle.
Officials confirmed it was the suspect vehicle and began searching nearby apartments and homes. Law enforcement eventually found Giesen in an apartment unit. The release said the others inside were not cooperative and refused to exit the home. A man reportedly told officers he had a firearm and demanded they leave.
A negotiator with the sheriff’s office was able to start talking to those inside and deescalated the situation after a 30-minute standoff. Pelot and Nicholas Shawn Hope, 36, of Wisconsin Rapids, later surrendered and were taken into custody without incident.
The infant was found safe and received medical attention at a hospital as a precaution. Giesen is now in the custody of child protective services.
Pelot and Hope were brought to the Columbia County Jail for outstanding warrants and violations of their probation and parole. Other charges from multiple jurisdictions are expected, as crimes were committed in several counties. The release said a handgun was also found and taken as evidence.
An investigation later revealed the two received help and shelter from the tenant of the apartment where they were found. Sonja Lynn Lawless, 32, of Rio, was eventually taken into custody for harboring and aiding a felon.
The sheriff’s office received help from the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation, Rio Police Department, Wisconsin Rapids Police Department, Rio EMS, Aspirus Divine Savior Paramedics and Blystones Towing and Recovery.
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