Updated: 8:38 PM ET
Police in Arizona have apprehended Eric Maes, the father accused of kidnapping his 10-month-son while the boy’s mother was loading him to the car. The mother, 30-year-old Brittany Walker-Martie, reportedly jumped on the car as the Maes drove away with the child inside, and died after she saw thrown from the vehicle. The boy, Abel Maes, was found abandoned and uninjured in Phoenix several hours later.
According to AZFamily.com, police officers approached the suspect after spotting him near 23rd Avenue and Cactus Road in Phoenix Wednesday afternoon. Maes ran off, but was caught after officers from multiple agencies pursued him. He was booked into jail on one count of manslaughter. It is unclear at this time if further charges are expected.
CrimeOnline will provide updates when more information is available.
Authorities in Arizona are still searching for a suspect in a kidnapping that resulted in the death of the child’s mother.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Brittany Walker-Martie, 30, died after grabbing on to a car with her 10-month old infant son inside, after the child’s non-custodial father Eric Maes drove off as she was loading the boy, Abel Maes, into the vehicle Tuesday evening.
Residents near the scene in Peoria called 911, and by the time police arrived, the woman had been thrown from the car. She was alive but critically injured when first responders arrived, and died at a hospital during surgery, AZFamily.com reports.
Just before midnight, Peoria police issued an AMBER Alert for Abel, his father, and the vehicle. Around an hour later, someone called police to report an abandoned child in Phoenix, which is about a 30-minute drive from Peoria. The Phoenix Fire Department found the boy safe and uninjured in an undisclosed location, and the AMBER Alert was cancelled early Wednesday morning after his rescue.
According to AZFamily.com, Eric Maes was last seen in Phoenix running with the baby, having abandoned the vehicle. When CrimeOnline contacted Phoenix police for further information, the person who answered the phone said they could not confirm reports that Eric Maes had last been seen running with the child in Phoenix, but did confirm that the child was found abandoned there. They said the rescued infant had been handed over to authorities in Peoria, who are leading the investigation. It is unclear exactly where the child is now.
Eric Maes reportedly lives in Sun City, a couple of miles from Peoria. Police told AZFamily.com they are working to determine why the three family members were in Peoria. The circumstances of the abduction are not entirely clear, but the AZFamily.com report citing police sources says that Eric Maes “showed up” as Walker-Martie was loading her son into the car, suggesting the parents did not have plans to meet.
Police also told the news station that Walker-Martie was conscious and able to speak to investigators prior to going into surgery.
“We have one side of a story, but a very short part of a story,” Sgt. Amanda Gaines of the Peoria Police Department told AZFamily.com “We don’t really know why everyone was in this area. And we don’t know why specifically Eric was in this area, so we’d really like to talk to him.”
It is unclear if Peoria Police have issued a warrant for Eric Maes’ arrest. Sgt. Gaines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This is a developing story. CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
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