ATHENS, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - An 11-month-old Athens baby girl is back safe with her mother after police said she was inadvertently kidnapped.
Athens-Clarke County Police said she was an easy target when a thief stole her mother’s car when she left it running outside her home, apparently not realizing there was precious cargo onboard.
On police body cam, one officer was recorded when he was trying to help the cold and scared little girl.
“It, cold, it’s cold, here we go we’re going to put up your hood keep, you dry and warm,” the officer is heard saying as the little girl is crying in his arms.
It’s a heartwarming video of a couple of officers with hugs and warmth for the little girl. They recovered her in her baby seat in the back seat of her mother’s car which had been stolen from in front of their home.
“We believe this was a random opportunity where somebody took advantage of trying to steal a vehicle and also kidnapped an 11-month-old child,” said Geof Gilland, the public information officer for the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.
Gilland said the car was stolen around 7:15 Sunday night when the child’s mother went inside her home, leaving the car running in the driveway.
The little girl was found in the car which had been abandoned at a Walmart parking lot in Oconee County a few miles away from her home, about an hour after the car had been stolen.
“Our investigators are trying to piece together what transpired during that hour, where that vehicle may have been. We’re thankful they did leave the vehicle in a location where it could be found,” said Gilland.
Whatever happened in the time the little girl was with her inadvertent kidnapper is still a mystery, but most importantly she was found and is back safe with mom.
“The mother arrived a short time later and there was a mother and child reunion,” said Gilland.
Investigators are searching for surveillance video to help track down whoever stole the car. Gilland told FOX 5 News the little girl will be just fine.