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UPDATE: Missing baby found safe in Elkhart, mother arrested

By Rachel Lake
Published On: Feb 16 2014 05:37:03 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 17 2014 05:30:46 AM CST

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Right now a St. Joseph County mother is in jail and facing a lot of questions after leading police on a frantic search for her 9-month-old baby.

That baby was found in Elkhart and is OK, but investigators are still trying to figure out how her mother managed to lose track of her.

Heather Gipperich, 31, was arrested last night for felony neglect. Gipperich reportedly took off last Sunday with baby Bethany to see some friends.

Heather's family says it didn't hear from her for days.
She finally showed up at her mom's house yesterday, but Bethany was not with her.
Police were able to track down Bethany in Elkhart thanks to several tips.
Heather's family says she has a lot of “personal issues” and has abused drugs for years.
“They were very close,” said Heather’s mother, Norma McGeacatn. “Heather was a pretty good mother when she was straight, but when she was on the drugs, she wasn't.”

Police are calling Heather's story “sketchy.”

DCS has custody of Baby Bethany, who police tell us is fine this morning.