NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An Alabama woman accused of snatching a newborn from his Tennessee home will remain in federal custody while authorities Wednesday investigated whether she was the only person involved.
Tammy Renee Silas, 39, is charged with kidnapping 4-day-old Yahir Anthony Carrillo from Nashville on Sept. 29. The baby was found with Silas three days later at her home in Ardmore, Ala., about 80 miles south.
Yahir wasn't harmed, but his mother was stabbed repeatedly. Maria Gurrola saw her son only briefly after he was found before the state Department of Children's Services put him and her three other children in foster care citing safety reasons. DCS hasn't revealed those safety concerns, but Gurrola's court-appointed attorney said the parents were under suspicion of trying to sell the baby.
The family was reunited Tuesday after police said Gurrola, 30, and the father, Jose Carrillo, weren't involved in the crime.
"They're happy to be all together now," said Carrillo's cousin Norma Rodriguez. "The children are really happy to be with their mother and father."
Defense attorney Isaiah Gant said after court that Silas, whom he described as a "rather docile person," didn't want to make a public statement. "My sense is she's very concerned about the charge," Gant said.
Prosecutor Phil Wehby declined to comment.
A few details have emerged about Silas since her arrest Friday.
Helm said Silas is believed to have gone by other names, such as Tammy Hernandez, and was associated with more than one Social Security number. Police records show a drug possession charge from 1989 in California, a check forgery conviction in Ohio in 2002 and a 2004 arrest in Nashville on a probation violation charge from the forgery case.
Rodriguez, said Gurrola, originally from Durango, Mexico, started crying and shaking uncontrollably when she was told the children would be taken into state custody.
"She said them taking the kids away was a worse stab in her heart than the stab from the lady who took the baby," Rodriguez said.
Silas hasn't been charged in the knife attack that left Gurrola with multiple stab wounds and a collapsed lung.
Gurrola, told investigators that after she was stabbed, her attacker made a phone call, saying in Spanish "the job is done" and the mother was dying, a lead police are following.
Before the arrest, police circulated a sketch of the attacker and described her as a heavyset blonde white female who could speak Spanish.
Silas differs from that physical description in at least one way. Her hair was reddish brown and pulled back into a bun during her court appearance. A California warrant for Silas on a minor drug charge also described her as brunette.
Kristin Helm, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, said they think Silas is a brunette but are investigating whether she might have changed her appearance recently.
She also said no state charges are imminent in the attack or kidnapping.
U.S. Magistrate John S. Bryant ordered Silas held until a bond hearing he set for Oct. 27. That's an unusually long delay for a detention hearing, Gant said.
The defense requested an interpreter for the case. Gant told the court that while English is Silas' first language she needs an interpreter to fully understand the legal complexities.
Silas' live-in boyfriend, Martin Rodriguez, earlier said he was shocked by the arrest and thought Silas was adopting a baby from a cousin in Texas who had to go to jail.
Authorities believe she and Rodriguez were working as construction contractors, and she used her language skills to help their business.
Rodriguez said he met Silas when they both lived in Nashville. He said Silas is bilingual and was born in Tarrant County, Texas, where she had family. Efforts to locate her relatives for comment were unsuccessful.