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Missing baby was locked in chest for 12 hours

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Missing baby found in a box
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Mother, aunt charged with interference of child custody, making false reports
  • Missing 7-month-old baby girl found alive in 2-by-3 cedar chest underneath aunt's bed
  • The latest on the case on tonight's "Nancy Grace" HLN, 8 p.m. ET
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The latest on how the police found the missing baby girl on tonight's "Nancy Grace", HLN 8 p.m. ET

(CNN) -- A 7-month-old baby was locked in a 2-by-3 foot cedar chest hidden underneath her aunt's bed for 12 hours before police found her Wednesday night, a Florida sheriff said Thursday.

Shannon Lee Dedrick, who had been reported missing four days earlier, is in good condition, Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock said

"There was no bottle, just a blanket to cover [her]," Haddock said. "She was healthy...she was just wide open and surprised."

Police think Crystina Lynn Mercer gave her daughter to the baby's paternal aunt, Susan Baker, a day before reporting her missing, Haddock said. Both women have been charged in connection with the incident.

Baker, who also babysits the child, met with Mercer on Friday and asked if she could permanently take custody of the infant, Haddock said.

"Susan Baker took custody of Shannon from her mother sometime in the hours of October 31st," he said.

That morning, Mercer reported her baby missing to police.

Both women have been charged with interference of child custody, a third-degree felony. They also were charged with making a false report of a missing child, a false report of a crime and contributing to the delinquency of a child, all misdemeanor charges. Mercer has been charged with desertion of a child, and Baker has been charged with child neglect with aggravated circumstances, both felony charges.

Haddock offered no suspected motive.

Baker's husband was also in custody, but he was released without being charged, Haddock said.

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