For Immediate Release - October 14, 2016

Topsfield Woman Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping Toddler

A Topsfield woman pleaded guilty late this afternoon to breaking into a Hamilton home and kidnapping a 2-year-old child on November 20, 2015.  Salem Superior Court Judge Thomas Drechsler sentenced Abigail Hanna, 22, to five to seven years in state prison, followed by 10 years of probation.

Hanna admitted that she broke into a Hamilton family’s home in the early morning hours of November 20, 2015 and took a 2 year-old child out of the home.  The child was later found naked on the side of Newbury Road in Rowley by passers-by.  The child’s head had been shaven and she had severe abrasions on her forehead and numerous circular burn marks on her body.

In recommending a 10 to 15 year state prison sentence, Essex Assistant District Attorney Kristen Buxton told the court that the family’s pain and suffering has not abated in the time since the incident.  “This is a parent’s worst nightmare; a person comes into your home in the middle of the night and takes your child.  This defendant’s appearance today is not consistent with the horror she inflicted on this family and this community.”

“This defendant caused immeasurable harm to a young, defenseless child and her family,” said District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.  “Her actions warrant a state prison sentence and my only hope is that this provides the family with a reprieve during which they can re-build their sense of security.”

“This incident inflicted damage not only on a young child and her family but on an entire community,” said Hamilton Police Chief Russell Stevens.  “I remain grateful to all of the first responders and the passers-by who found the child alive that day.”

While on probation, Hanna must stay 100 yards away from the victim and her family, is banned from entering the town of Hamilton, must stay 50 yards away from schools and playgrounds, may not have unsupervised contact with children under 16, must obtain mental health treatment and take all medication as prescribed, must remain alcohol and marijuana free and submit to random screens.  During the first 2 years of her probation, she will be monitored by a GPS device and she is required by statute to register as a sex offender.  (Please note that this is because she is guilty of kidnapping a child and not because there was any sexual component to this crime.)

Ms. Hanna was returned to custody at MCI Framingham with 328 days of credit.  She was represented by Attorney Susan McNeil.