Kathleen Householder waited by the phone yesterday, answering each call in a hesitant and anxious voice, thinking that perhaps this was the call that might bring her news of her 2-week-old daughter.
Her daughter, Lindsey, disappeared Friday around 11 a.m. when Householder left her unattended for a few minutes in a pickup truck parked in front of an IGA grocery store in Winchester, Va.
Since then, Householder has been answering numerous questions from police, reporters and others concerned about the disappearance of the dark-haired, blue-eyed baby. And she has been waiting, and crying.
Householder yesterday pleaded with anyone who knows where the baby is to return her. "Just don't hurt her," she said, sobbing. "I don't want any trouble from anybody. I just want her back."
Alvin Johnson, an investigator with the Winchester police department, said that Householder was in the IGA for between three and 10 minutes and that the doors to the truck were not locked.
Johnson said police were unable to find a witness who had seen the baby removed from the pickup truck or anyone lurking around the truck. He added that a canine unit had been unable to pick up anything.
"We have no idea. No clues at all," said Johnson.
Householder said police told her they have gotten a few calls about the baby, including one from Maryland. "But I don't want to say anything that might jeopardize" chances of finding the baby, she said, bursting into tears.
Householder said that she drove from her home in Rippon, W.Va., to Winchester Friday morning with Lindsey and her son Dustin, 2, to collect her paycheck from the Winchester Medical Center. Householder works as a secretary there.
She had dressed her daughter in pink jogging shorts, white booties and a white and pink shirt with the word "baby" spelled out in baby blocks on the front.
After stopping by the medical center, Householder said, she drove to a nearby IGA to cash her paycheck and buy some cigarettes. She took her son into the store with her but left her daughter in the pickup truck because she was sleeping. She said the baby was strapped in a car seat and that she covered her with a blanket.
After a few minutes, Householder said, she returned to the truck and her son climbed in.
"He pulled back the blanket, and she wasn't there," Householder said.