DETROIT (WWJ) – Family members are reaching out to the public for help to find 5-year-old Zoie Jackson, who has been missing since Monday.
When Katrina Appling, Zoie’s grandmother, went to pick her up from Detroit school that day, she learned that a substitute teacher had unknowingly released Zoie to her 37-year-old mother Carmela Jackson, who has some psychological problems.
The mother doesn’t have legal custody of the child.
“She’s only to be picked up by her father or her grandmother,” Appling told WWJ’s Chrystal Knight. “Nobody bothered to tell him this, so it’s not his fault.”
Appling explained that Carmela Jackson has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and postpartum depression — but she disagrees about the postpartum.
“Postpartum? The baby’s five years old. She’s not having postpartum anymore, she’s just crazy,” Appling said.
Appling is very concerned about her granddaughter’s safety.
“I don’t feel that her mother would go out of her way to deliberately hurt her, but the weather is bad,” said Appling. “And you know yourself, you got a good mind, and driving out there is dangerous.”
Zoie was last seen wearing a red shirt, black pants and black boots. She was carrying a black and pink backpack.
According to police, mother and child were believed to be headed out-of-state — possibly toward Elkhart, Indiana.
The mother is likely driving a black, 2002 Lexus cross over vehicle with license plate #CMR0252.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Zoie or Carmela Jackson is asked to call Detroit police at 313-237-2579.