Police chief calls missing baby search, “A case we have to put down”

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Baby Delano

Update: Willie Wilson was found not guilty of murder. Read more here.

Original story:

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 3, 2014)-- It was a week ago Wednesday a west side man told police strangers kidnapped his baby from his arms in an alley not far from the family home.

While the search of Little Eagle Creek, a nearby wooded area and the banks of the White River have proven fruitless, detectives also have no evidence or eyewitness accounts to confirm the father's story.

The search for 6-week-old Delano Anthony Wilson continues. While IMPD is leading the investigation, the FBI is involved as well.

Two federal agents came by the family's house on Wednesday. They were inside for a short time before one of the agents left with Trina Perkins, Delano's grandmother. They left in a van and returned less than an hour later. The agents then left with Taniasha Perkins, Delano's mother, again returning less than an hour later.

"We're not going away," said IMPD Chief Rick Hite. "This is a case we have to put down."

Detectives have repeatedly questioned the Delano's mom and her brother. They spoke with them Monday night, while a search warrant was being served at their home in the 500 block of South Chase Street.

Swatches of carpeting and pieces of plumbing were among the items seized by investigators.

Willie Wilson, the child's father who provided detectives with a detailed description of the alleged armed kidnapper, stayed behind and sobbed, refusing to talk to investigators without a lawyer present.

Chief Hite remains steadfast in his belief that the answers to the case of the missing infant can be found among the residents who live on that block southwest of downtown Indianapolis.

"I think people may not remember what they think is important or may not think what they remember is important, we need to have that information. Anything and everything is important at this point," said Hite. "It’s not snitching. It’s about doing the right thing, and there's never a wrong time to do that right thing. Now it’s time to do the right thing."

Members of the faith-based community have leant their voices to the chorus seeking information regarding the whereabouts of the missing child.

"We want to make a clarion call throughout the city," said Pastor Horatio Luster of the Ten Point Coalition, "right now regardless to who you are, regardless to what you have done, regardless to what the circumstances or situations been....we need someone right now. Whether you are involved in it, whether you know anything at all about it, we need you to come forth now."

Luster and a handful of other ministers lead a front yard prayer vigil at the family home over the Labor Day weekend.

Delano's mother noticeably sobbed when one pastor announced that God forgives all sins.

"You're walking around and you're carrying this thing within you and its festering, it’s eating at you like cancer, and once you come forth and release it, you will feel a whole lot better about yourself," said Luster, speaking to anyone who may have information on the child's disappearance. "Our job as clergymen...our job is not to judge. We're there even for the perpetrators as well as the victims.

"If they're scared to come in, walk into the police department, we'll be more than happy if they give us a call to meet with them," said Luster, referring to the Safe Surrender program that has brought other witnesses and suspects forward in the past. "We can sit with them. We can pray with them even before they come in. We will be more than happy to walk in and bring them in...even go through the process with them."

Sources told FOX59 News that Tuesday's search of Little Eagle Creek, approximately two miles due west of the family's neighborhood, was not based on a tip, but rather the location's proximity and relative remoteness.

A witness told FOX59 News and investigators that she spotted Wilson earlier on the morning of Aug. 27 running from the same alley, where hours later, he claimed he was the victim of an attempted robbery. Wilson said a white male with a pistol and a Hispanic female left behind his wallet, two cell phones and marijuana, but took his child.

The witness said that as soon as Wilson spotted her, he came to an abrupt halt and began walking back to his home.

While individual detectives and officers continued informal searches Wednesday, IMPD will return to the neighborhood Friday night as the southwest district will hold its late shift roll call near the home Delano shared with his parents and several extended family members.

The Ten Point Coalition is also considering a faith walk in the community Friday night to show its support for the recovery of the missing baby.