Mom charged after allegedly taking son from parental visitation in Shakopee

A mom accused of kidnapping her nearly 9-month-old son from a custodial visit on Wednesday, spurring a state safety alert, has been charged. 

Zenitra Zaphorah Forester, 24, of Hamel, is charged with kidnapping in connection to the Aug. 30 incident. 

Forester was charged Wednesday. She is in custody in Wisconsin and is waiting to be extradited back to Minnesota, the Scott County Sheriff's Office said. 

Zenitra Forester.

The charges

According to the criminal complaint, Forester absconded on foot with her biological son from a parental visitation at 12:38 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30, from the Scott County Government Center in Shakopee. The child's foster parents brought the boy to the parental visitation, and Forester was allowed to hold him, and while bearhugging him, she ran out of the room and out of the government center. 

Forester's son was put on a police health and safety hold with the Shakopee Police Department at 5:16 p.m. on Aug. 26. The hold was scheduled to expire on Aug. 31, with a court hearing scheduled for the same day, charges said. 

Information from Scott County Child Protection said on Aug. 25, Forester's father witnessed Forester throw her child on the ground and punch him in the butt, then give the child a half pill of Benadryl, the charges said. Child protection also reported Forester was homeless and could not provide basic needs of the child, and he had red marks on his butt. 

Child protection also noted, according to the charges, that Forester was diagnosed with a mental health disorder in August 2021 and was not taking her medication.

After leaving the government center with her son, Forester ran south on Atwood Street, with a child protection services worker chasing after her, the complaint said. After several blocks, the worker lost sight of Forester. Sheriff's deputies could not locate her after a search in the area, and they pinged her phone, which showed her in the area of Shakopee. 

At 3:43 p.m., a child protection worker received an email from Forester saying, "I thought the hold ended today, thanks for your help, me and [her son] are safe," charges state. Then at 4:34 p.m., the child protection worker received a text message from Forester that said, "I thought the 72-hour hold was up." 

The child protection worker asked Forester to send a photo of the child to ensure he was safe and Forester refused, the criminal complaint says. No other contact was made with the mom, and authorities tried to locate her without success. 

Then, at about 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 31, deputies received a ping from Forester's cell phone within 17,000 meters of Red Wing, Minnesota, the criminal complaint said. Deputies then received information from the Pierce County, Wisconsin, Sheriff's Office that earlier, they located Forester and her son at a home in Hager City, Wisconsin. 

Forester was taken into custody, and the child was taken by child protection workers and is currently at St. Paul Children's Hospital, charges said. 

Police said on Wednesday the boy is safe but haven't said if he was injured.