Missing 6-year-old found, suspect charged

Jashayla Hopson

By Monica Land

SCOOBA – The FBI confirmed that a 6-year-old girl from Scooba was found safe Wednesday afternoon after she was reported missing on April 30. The search for Jashayla Markayia Hopson ended around 1:25 p.m., on May 1 after Jashayla was located in Enterprise, Miss.

An Alabama woman has been charged with her kidnapping.

Jashayla Hopson

After she was found, Daniel McMullen, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi, said the Jashayle was taken to Rush Foundation Hospital in Meridian for observation.

“The investigation into Jashayla’s disappearance is ongoing; however, I would like to recognize the around-the-clock effort by the numerous law enforcement personnel who worked tirelessly to find Jashayla and reunite her with her parents,” McMullen said.

An Amber Alert was issued for Jashayla Wednesday after she was last seen Tuesday around noon at East Kemper Elementary School in Scooba, WLBT reported. She left with an unidentified woman.

Kemper County Sheriff James Moore said the woman came to the school library, called Jashayla by name and left with her. The librarian reportedly did not know the woman and school policy was not followed when Jashayla was checked out of school through the office, WLBT said.

Jashayla’s family discovered she was missing when she didn’t get off the school bus later that afternoon. Jashayla’s parents, Rochelle Ford and Marcus Hopson, made an emotional plea for her return.

Officials said the woman who allegedly took Jashayla was described as a black or possibly Hispanic female with tattoos of stars on one foot, and a butterfly tattoo on the opposite leg. Police believe she has some connection to Jashayla’s family.

WLBT reported that an Enterprise resident immediately recognized Jashayla when the child, wet from the rain, knocked on her door Wednesday afternoon. The woman called authorities.

A suspect, Jesse Mae Pollard, 54, of Northport, AL, was arrested Wednesday and charged with kidnapping. Pollard is a former Kemper County teacher and coach and the mother of University of Alabama basketball player Devonta Pollard.

Pollard is being held without bond.

Moore said Pollard was apprehended at her home in Northport and her motive in the kidnapping has not been released.

The case remains under investigation.

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