Man charged with kidnapping child whose mother was found dead inside suitcase

Federal prosecutors have charged a Noel, Missouri, man with kidnapping a 4-year-old child whose mother’s body was found stuffed inside a suitcase last month and left on the side of a road.

Mahamud Tooxoow Mahamed, 37, a Somali national, was charged late Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Missouri. Mahamed was not in federal custody and remained at large, according to authorities.

Federal prosecutors said the body of Jessica McCormack, of Noel, was discovered July 29, near Missouri 59. Investigators think she was stuffed into a suitcase that rolled down a hill after being thrown from a moving vehicle.

McCormack was last seen alive July 16 when authorities responded to a call at her home. Prosecutors did not say what the nature of the call was. Also at the home were Mahamed, who was identified as McCormack’s paramour, and McCormack’s three daughters, according to prosecutors.

McCormack’s children, ages 4, 2, and 6 months, had been missing until after her body was found and she was identified.

An Amber Alert was issued for the children, who were located Aug. 8 at a home in Des Moines, Iowa. The children were placed in state custody.

According to the affidavit, a woman who had worked with Mahamed at the Tyson plant in Noel told investigators that Mahamed arrived at her home with the children on Aug. 5.

The woman said she discovered Mahamed had left three days later on Aug. 8 when she found a note telling her that he could not care for the children, prosecutors said.

The father of McCormack’s oldest child told investigators that he did not give Mahamed permission to take his daughter out of Missouri. Authorities have not been able to positively identify the biological father of McCormack’s youngest child, according to court records.

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Glenn E. Rice covers crime, courts and breaking news for The Kansas City Star, where he’s worked since 1988. Rice is a Kansas City native and a graduate of the University of Central Missouri.