Missing Charlotte County baby found safe: Four in Your Corner presses officials for answers

Posted at 3:02 PM, Mar 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-14 22:37:39-04

The baby who disappeared almost two weeks ago in Charlotte County has been found and is safe.

Ashlynn Van Orman was last seen in the custody of James Fender on March 1st. Her family and the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office couldn't track him down.

Tuesday, investigators sent out an alert that Ashlynn could be in the custody of Stephanie Draine and Andrew Hall. Draine is homeless and was at one time a fugitive out of Sarasota with a lengthy rapsheet.

Investigators found Ashlynn with Draine and Hall in Saint James City.

Four in Your Corner's Lisa Greenberg asked the Sheriff's Office if the two could be charged. 

"The investigation is on going. There are no charges at this point," Skip Conroy with the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office said.

Ashlynn was originally given to James Fender when her mother, Ashley Van Orman, was arrested. Fender was initially said to be Ashlynn's stepfather. Ashlynn's grandma Robin Milthaler said Fender has no relationship with the family.

Fox 4 asked the sheriff's office why Fender was given to Ashlynn when his role in her life wasn't verified.

"The mother released the baby to Fender," Conroy said.

He said it's standard protocol for the sheriff's office to hand the baby over to whoever the mother says to.


But Milthaler still has questions.

"My daughter has a bad past. Her two children were taken from her. She gave birth and went into the hospital. She left the hospital. I know she was on drugs the whole time. So how did the baby leave with her?" Milthaler asked.

Four in Your Corner took her question to the Department of Children and Families.

In an email, a spokesperson said, in part: "We have an open child protection investigation involving the child. Further details regarding our involvement with the child and mother are confidential."

Ashlynn will be in the custody of her grandmother for the time being.