Staff writers

A 38-year-old mother who allegedly fled police and abandoned her 10-year-old daughter after enlisting the child to help shoplift groceries in Morgan Hill remained jailed in Nevada on Saturday.

Marcy Keelin, who lives part-time in Morgan Hill and part-time in Wyoming, was arrested Friday night after a sheriff's deputy spotted her green Ford Explorer in the parking lot of a motel near Fernley, Nev., said Morgan Hill police Sgt. Troy Hoefling.

The woman, who was with her 11-month-old son and a male companion, had threatened to kill herself when police talked to her by phone earlier in the day, Hoefling said.

Detectives had also asked her if she was willing to turn herself in, but Keelin would not surrender or give her whereabouts. They learned her location Friday at about 10:10 p.m., when a deputy in Lyon County, Nev., spotted her car.

"Deputies were able to locate a specific (motel) room associated to the vehicle and knocked on the door," Hoefling said.

When Keelin answered the door, she was arrested without incident, Hoefling said.

Her infant son was placed into the custody of Nevada Child Protective Services, he said. Her male companion was not arrested and was later released, Hoefling said.

On Saturday, Keelin was being held on $50,000 bail in the Lyon County Jail pending an extradition hearing, Hoefling said. Hoefling said the hearing would most likely take place Monday.


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Following that hearing, she will be transported back to Santa Clara County to face charges of burglary and contributing to the deliquency of a minor, Hoefling said.

Child protective services for Nevada and California will then arrange for the return of her son, police said.

According to police, Keelin went to the Safeway supermarket at 235 Tennant Station Way on Sept. 19 with her daughter, and together they nearly filled a shopping cart with $150 worth of goods, including alcohol. Police said she then had her daughter wait near the exit as she went out to fetch her vehicle and pull up nearby, so her daughter could push the cart out of the store.

But when store employees saw the girl leave without paying, they confronted the child and Keelin drove off, police said.

The mother and child had been caught on video at the same Safeway store committing a similar crime about two weeks earlier with about $60 worth of groceries, police said.

Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at nalund@bayareanewsgroup.com 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.