CORY CLARK, OF Monticello, was arrested on Saturday, on charges of attempted murder in the second degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, both felonies, and other misdemeanor charges. Clark allegedly staged the abduction of his infant daughter, who was found, later in the day, and treated at Catskill Regional Medical Center, in Harris.
Abducted baby rescued
By Jeanne Sager
MONTICELLO A missing baby has been rescued, but the father who claimed she went missing in a Wal-Mart checkout line is in jail.
Police shut down the Monticello shopping center and its parking lot for four and a half hours on Saturday after Cory Clarke, 27, of Monticello, reported daughter Brook had gone missing.
According to New York State Police Investigator Mike Orrego, Clarke said the little girl was in her stroller while he was in the checkout line.
When he looked back, Clarke said the girl was gone.
“Almost like an abduction,” Orrego noted. “So we went with the Amber Alert, they shut it all down.”
Along with the State Police and store security, the Village of Monticello Police and Sullivan County Sheriff’s deputies spent their Fourth of July stopping every car attempting to leave the parking lot and canvassing the area in sections.
Around 5 p.m., a trooper searching near an old bungalow colony on Lanahan Road (back behind Wal-Mart) heard a baby crying.
According to Orrego, the baby was found in the mud and taken to Catskill Regional Medical Center for observation. She was deemed OK, he said, and she’s been released.
The distance from the Wal-Mart and the baby’s age raises police suspicions, turning the case from a missing baby to a suspected false report.
Clarke had visitation rights to see Brook and her brother, an 18-month-old he alleged was in the stroller when the little girl went missing.
Police are still investigating to determine whether Clarke caused any harm to the brother and what motive Clarke might have had for making the false report.
Clarke has been charged with attempted murder in the second degree and reckless endangerment in the first degree, both felonies. He’s also expected to face misdemeanor charges of falsely reporting an incident in the second degree.
Arraigned on the charges, he’s been remanded to Sullivan County Jail.