A woman who has been charged with kidnapping her son last week reportedly escaped from law-enforcement authorities Wednesday.
Long County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Robert Berry said that Heather Gohn, 27, escaped from the sheriff’s office around 3:15 p.m. as she was being prepared for transport to the Brantley County Jail. Earlier that day, Gohn made her first appearance before Long County State Court Judge Jeffery Arnold, who set her bond at $75,000 or a $150,000 property bond. Before her reported escape, Gohn had been charged with kidnapping, burglary, interference of custody of a child, child endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident, operating a vehicle without a seat belt and DUI.
Berry said Gohn had no history of violence and was not considered dangerous, so she had been awaiting transport in a room at the sheriff’s office, which is when she reportedly fled.
According to Ludowici Police Department Investigator Diannia Duncan, the original charges against Gohn stem from an incident that happened Tuesday when Gohn allegedly took her 4-year-old son during the early hours of the morning. The child’s great-grandmother, who has custody of him, discovered he was missing from her Mitchum Road home around 3 a.m. She reported the child missing and members of the Ludowici Police Department, the Long County Sheriff’s Office and the Ludowici/Long County Volunteer Fire Department began searching the area for him.
During the search, Duncan said she interviewed the child’s great-grandmother and learned that Gohn had talked to her about moving to New York and taking her son with her.
LCSO Sgt. Shane Middleton went to Beaver Hill Mobile Home Park, where Gohn reportedly lives with a roommate. Authorities woke Gohn’s roommate, who discovered his 2009 Nissan Altima was missing and Gohn was not at home.
Duncan said police issued a “be on the lookout” notice for Gohn and began the process of establishing an AMBER alert for the child.
As Middleton headed back to Ludowici, he noticed a stationary vehicle on Arnold Drive and went to investigate. Middleton saw that the vehicle parked in the road appeared to have been towing a 2009 Nissan Altima, which still was attached to it.
The sergeant also found Gohn and the 4-year-old at the scene. Apparently, Gohn, who reportedly was intoxicated, ran the Nissan off of the road and called a friend to come pull the car out of a ditch, Duncan said. As her friend tried to pull out the Nissan, the friend’s vehicle ran out of gas, which is why Middleton found the cars stationary in the road.
The child was returned to his great-grandmother, and Gohn was arrested.
Because the sheriff’s office, the fire department, the Georgia State Patrol and the police all worked together, the child was back in his great-grandmother’s custody by 6 a.m., Duncan said.
With Gohn still on the loose, however, Duncan has asked the community to help find the woman.
“From information gathered during the investigation, I am worried that the mother may try to get to the child again and possibly take him to New York. So if anyone sees her, please call us or the sheriff’s department,” Duncan said.
The LPD’s number is 545-2222 and the LCSO’s number is 545-2118.