Mom of baby abandoned in NY subway from NC

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The family of Frankea Dabbs is opening up about the young woman now accused of abandoning her baby on a NYC subway platform. (WTVD)

A woman suspected of abandoning her baby girl at a Manhattan subway station Monday has been taken into police custody.

Authorities said 20-year-old Frankea Dabbs, who recently lived in North Carolina, was picked up by police around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday after someone recognized her from photos and video police released showing the woman pushing the child through a subway turnstile.

Frankea Dabbs in a 2011 arrest photo from Raleigh (image courtesy Raleigh-Wake City-County Bureau of Identification)

WABC, ABC11's sister station in New York, reports that an officer approached Dabbs, and she admitted that she abandoned the infant and it was her biological child. She was able to provide the name, medical history and physical description.

Dabbs recently came to New York City, and she apparently decided suddenly that she could no longer take care of the 10-month-old girl, identified as Miliani Edmonds.

Surveillance video captured Dabbs pushing the baby's stroller onto the platform from a northbound No. 1 train when it arrived at the Columbus Circle station and then got back onto the train, police said.

A passenger observed the woman and child board the train at 42nd Street and 7th Avenue, police said. The passenger got off at Columbus Circle and noticed the unattended stroller on the platform and the mother inside the train. After the train pulled away, the passenger remained with the baby for about 20 minutes. When the mother did not return, she notified a subway worker who called police.

The girl was examined at Roosevelt Hospital, and no apparent signs of trauma were found.

The baby was placed in the care of the city's Administration for Children's Services.

Dabbs has been charged with abandoning a child and committing actions injurious to a child less than the age of 17.

Dabbs already has a lengthy criminal history: prostitution and assault charges.

She also reportedly has an active warrant out for marijuana possession in North Carolina.

According to records, Dabbs lived in Raleigh in 2012 and most recently lived in Garysburg, North Carolina in Northampton County.

ABC11 spoke by phone with Dabbs' next door neighbor in Garysburg. Ida Lee said she saw Dabbs one month ago, when Dabbs returned to Garysburg to visit her mother.

Lee described Dabbs' mood as depressed.

"She seemed to be kind of down, not alive as much, down a little bit, sad a little", Lee said.

ABC11 was able to track down Dabbs' family in Roanoke Rapids. Her father and her aunt were both baffled but said Dabbs hadn't been herself lately.

The question has been raised if the young mom suffers from postpartum depression.

"Frankea's a troubled child. She has some problems. What the problem is only God can answer," said Lawanna Edmonds, Dabbs' aunt.

Edmonds said Dabbs had recently stayed at her home and vanished with the baby just last week.

She said Dabbs had been depressed these last few months and would constantly stay in her bedroom with the lights turned off.

"I believe she did it because she felt I have nothing, I have nobody...if I let somebody take the baby she'll be in better hands," Edmonds said.

Nonetheless, Dabbs' family says she was a good mother until something snapped. They are now eternally grateful for the kindness of the passenger at the subway.

"I'm glad by the grace of God, whoever the lady was I give her great thanks and [I'm] just thinking about the baby," said Frankie Dabbs, the 20-year-old's father.

Dabbs' family says they will push to get custody of the baby.

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