Sarasota detectives locate mother, 18-month-old child

Jessica Innes and her son, Wayne Mellinger; photo provided by Sarasota Police Department

UPDATE: Jessica Innes and her 18-month-old son, Wayne Mellinger, have been found safe, according to the Sarasota Police Department.

PREVIOUS STORY: SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – Detectives with the Sarasota Police Department are currently investigating a missing persons case that they believe could possibly involve child endangerment.

Detectives are searching for 23-year-old Jessica Innes and her 18-month-old son, Wayne Mellinger. Innes was last seen around 12 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7. She was believed to have boarded a transit bus possibly bound for Palmetto. Family members became concerned and contacted the Sarasota Police Department late Friday night when Innes had not yet returned. Detectives are concerned about the mother and the baby because Innes left with no supplies for either herself or her baby.  Innes may be in the company of the baby’s father, 27-year-old Michael Mellinger.

Innes is described as a white female. She is 5’4” and weighs approximately 120 pounds. She has brown hair and blue eyes. She is also currently 7 months pregnant. Innes was last seen wearing a green top with black leggings. Her son, Wayne, was last seen wearing a red and black outfit.

If anyone has any information regarding the whereabouts of either Innes, her son or the baby’s father, Mellinger, you are asked to contact Detective Buck or Sergeant Shanafelt with the Sarasota Police Department at 941-316-1201. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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