By Joe Johnson
Athens-Clarke County police are attempting to identify three suspects in a recent kidnapping of an infant while he was asleep in his mother’s car.
The mother had just returned to her home on Live Oak Drive at about 11:30 p.m. Friday and was allowing her child to remain sleeping in his car seat while she made a trip into her home and soon after came back out and saw that the car was gone, according to police.
When publicly reporting the incident, Athens-Clarke County police initially referred to just one suspect – the person who stole the car in which the 9-month-old boy was sleeping.
However, an incident report that police released on Tuesday notes that a neighbor told officers that he was just returning home when he saw a black male backing the car with the baby inside down the woman’s driveway and then two black females got into the car on the street before it drove away.
An Amber Alert for the kidnapped child was issued at 3:46 a.m., and some seven hours later, at 10:44 a.m. Saturday, police were notified that the child was found unharmed, still in the car that was abandoned on Elkview Drive in the Garnett Ridge subdivision, police said.
The child was checked out by National EMS personnel and reunited with his mother, the officer said.
Because the car had been unlocked with the keys inside, and possibly with the engine running, police said they believed the thieves meant only to steal the car and did not realize a baby was in the vehicle.
Even so, the incident is being investigated as both a car theft and a kidnapping, police said.
Police asked for anyone with information about this incident to contact Detective Scott Black at (762) 400-7058 or firstname.lastname@example.org