Missing infant's mother has criminal past - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Missing infant's mother has criminal past

Sarah Lane Toney. Source: HCPD Sarah Lane Toney. Source: HCPD
Sarah Toney's FB page Sarah Toney's FB page
Sarah Toney's FB page Sarah Toney's FB page
Sarah Toney's FB page Sarah Toney's FB page

SOCASTEE, SC (WMBF) - While crews searched for Baby Grace in a creek in Socastee, her mother, Sarah Toney, is in J. Reuben Long Detention Center awaiting bond for a charge of unlawful conduct toward a child. It's not her first visit to the jail.

15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson looked over some of her previous cases. Richardson said Toney pleaded guilty to simple possession of drugs and shoplifting in March.

"She's on probation for those two now," Richardson said.

He said she also served time in the past for credit card fraud and leaving the scene of a traffic violation that involved some property damage. 

A woman, who is friends with the owner of the home on Simms Drive where Toney has been living, said she has known about Toney's drug use.

"Actually a few days before this happened, she admitted to using drugs," that woman said. She wants to remain anonymous.

She said the homeowner recently noticed something was going on with Toney.

"Days before this, the homeowner didn't know what was wrong with her, but she had been walking around mumbling. Just out of her mind. Not making any sense of anything she was saying," that woman said.

We also learned that Toney sent out messages on Facebook to some close friends and family the night before she says her baby was lost in the creek. Her former neighbor was on the other side of those messages and showed some to us.

The conversation started out with Toney saying she wanted to go and take her kids with her.

She later said she was ashamed of herself and feels she missed her turn at life.

Many friends and family reached out to Toney with help and encouragement. Some even suggested places she could go to get more help.

By the end of the hour long Facebook conversation, Toney said she was willing to accept help and go to treatment.

“It was weird how she wrote, saying she needed help, how she wanted to take her kids with her, and the next day something like this happens,” said former neighbor Anthony Furr, who showed us the conversation.

Horry County Police Lt. Raul Denis said Toney has another daughter who is nine years old. That child is with her biological father, he said.

Toney was first arrested Tuesday on an unrelated bench warrant from traffic court. 

J. Reuben Long Detention Center has Toney scheduled for a bond hearing at 9 a.m. Thursday.

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