Child welfare workers took custody of the boy who was left at Southaven Goodwill on Monday morning with a change of clothes and a note saying “abandoned child … no phone number for mom”.
Local media said the boy’s name was Sergio.
In a lawsuit filed in Federal Court in Memphis on Thursday, the FBI accused Jeremy Fitzgerald, 34, and his girlfriend Turlisca Turner, 29, of taking the child and driving him from Memphis to Mississippi.
The complaint states that the boy’s mother, Antoinette Smith, told officers Fitzgerald took her child after refusing to work for him as a prostitute in Nashville.
She said she called Fitzgerald several times to pick up her son after dropping her off in Nashville, but he did not respond, according to the complaint.
Smith’s sister then called Fitzgerald and during the conversation he asked for money for the boy’s return.
“Turner knew that Fitzgerald had demanded money in return for the child’s return,” Memphis US Attorney D. Michael Dunavan said.
Turner was apprehended on Monday wearing the same clothes as in the Goodwill surveillance video, prosecutors said.
Fitzgerald was arrested after crashing the brown vehicle he and Turner were in as they drove away from the Goodwill after dropping off Sergio, they said. He was seen on video at Goodwill wearing a mask and holding Sergio’s hand.
The boy was unable to tell the police his name after being abandoned.