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JACKSON — An adopted 5-month-old girl reportedly taken at gunpoint by her biological mother in rural Mississippi was found safe yesterday at a military-base apartment three states away.

The woman and her sister were in custody and others were sought in what authorities said appeared to be a kidnapping that sprang from a custody fight.

On Saturday, two women and an armed man wearing masks stormed into Jennifer and Matt Erickson’s home in Itawamba County, Sheriff Phil Crane said. They tied up Mrs. Erickson and fled with the baby, Madison Erickson, leaving another young child of Mrs. Erickson’s behind. Mrs. Erickson was able to free herself and called authorities.

Authorities contacted military police at Fort Bragg, N.C., where Rikki Swann — the sister of the baby’s biological mother, Jamie Kiefer — lived before returning to Mississippi when her husband deployed to Afghanistan.

Agents and military police found a white van with Mississippi plates near the apartment of Amanda Bell, a friend of Mrs. Swann’s. After obtaining warrants, they raided the home to find Madison, Miss Kiefer, Mrs. Swann, Mrs. Bell and her child, Miss Kiefer’s 5-year-old son, and two children of Mrs. Swann’s, ages 6 and 1.

The sisters were arrested. Authorities are still looking for a man and a woman who they say participated in the abduction.


100 visitors trapped atop Gateway Arch

ST. LOUIS — About 200 people were trapped inside the 630-foot Gateway Arch for about two hours after an apparent power outage, authorities said.

The power went out at about 8:45 p.m. Saturday, stalling two trams filled with about 40 people each, said Mike Maris, deputy superintendent of the Gateway Arch.

About 100 people were stranded at the top of the monument of stainless steel, Mr. Maris said. He said the evacuation of the south tram, where one of nine cables may have broken, took about two hours.

Power eventually was restored to the north tram, and stranded visitors no longer had to use the stairs to evacuate, said Capt. Steve Simpson, a spokesman for the St. Louis Fire Department. He said officials do not know what happened to the equipment.

Capt. Simpson said rescue crews treated two persons. One was given oxygen, and the other was diabetic. He did not elaborate on their treatment.


Mayor, bodyguards aid fire rescue

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