‘Gripping her closer’: 4-year-old left with mother’s friend at Walmart found in Clayton County

A 4-year-old girl who had been missing from a South Fulton Walmart since Tuesday night was found in Clayton County after an hours-long search, police said.

The child, Obrielle Curry, was taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding Wednesday afternoon and appears to be OK.

Moses Allen, a friend of the girl’s mother Shalonda Curry, was arrested after someone spotted him and Obrielle at an elementary school in Clayton County. 

He is being held in the Clayton County Jail on unspecified charges.

Shalonda Curry told police she left her child with Allen at the Walmart on Old National Highway while she ran errands about 7 p.m. Tuesday. Obrielle wanted to go with Allen, who is like an uncle to her, the child’s mother told Channel 2 Action News.

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When she returned to the store between 8:30 and 9 p.m., her daughter and Allen were gone.

“She searched for Obrielle for about an hour and a half and reported her missing around 10 p.m.,” South Fulton police spokeswoman Ashley Minter-Osanyinbi said Thursday in an emailed statement. That kicked off a search that lasted through the night and into Wednesday.

It is not clear why Allen left the store with Obrielle, and authorities have not specified where they went.

Police were called to a Walmart at the intersection of Old National Highway and Flat Shoals Road on Tuesday after a mother returned to the store for her 4-year-old daughter and she was gone. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Between 3:30 and 4 p.m., Allen and Obrielle went to Church Street Elementary School in Riverdale to visit the child’s sibling, Minter-Osanyinbi said.

“When he walked into the school, Clayton County School Police recognized him, and he was apprehended,” she said. “Obrielle Curry was found safe at Church Street Elementary School. Child Protective Services is currently involved to make sure she is safe.” 

Allen had warrants for his arrest in Clayton County, Minter-Osanyinbi said. 

“South Fulton police are actively investigating this case and charges are pending,” she said. “No further details are available at this time.”

Shalonda Curry told Channel 2 she is grateful her daughter is all right.

“Gripping her closer ... I’m not going to pull those stunts anymore,” she said. “I thought I could trust (Allen).”

—Please return to AJC.com for updates. 

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