Woman Severely Beats Mom, Takes Child, Police Say

Amber Alert issued for Jewel Noel Klein, 6

Authorities looking for a 41-year-old woman suspected of severely beating her mother and taking her 6-year-old daughter issue an Amber Alert.

The alert was issued for Jewel Noel Klein, 6, who was picked up by an unknown person driving her grandmother's car at Rebecca Creek Elementary School on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

The driver is believed to be Tonya Renee Martin, Jewel's mother. Deputies were called Tuesday evening to a home in Spring Branch where they found Melba Balantac, 68, with serious upper body wounds.

Authorities said she had been assaulted a short time earlier.

"She was beaten very badly," Comal County Sheriff's Department spokesman Mark Reynolds said in a story for Wednesday's online edition of the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News.

Balantac, who is Martin's mother, has legal conservatorship of Jewel.

Deputies were able to communicate with Balantac for a short time, and she was able to give them some information, implicating her daughter, he said. She was taken to a hospital, which could not immediately release her condition.

Investigators realized Jewel was missing only after Balantac was taken to the hospital, Reynolds said. He said Martin was seen driving Balantac's blue Hyundai Sonata before the assault.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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