A nationwide search is currently happening for a Georgia toddler who was abducted when someone stole his parents’ SUV on Wednesday morning.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 1-year-old Blaise Barnett was in his car seat in a gray 2002 Ford Explorer when someone stole the vehicle from his home at the Parc 1000 apartments off of Montreal Drive in Clarkston. He was last seen wearing a diaper and black shirt with blue dinosaurs on it. He also had a grey blanket wrapped around him.
During a Wednesday afternoon news conference, Clarkston police officials confirmed that the stolen SUV had been located. According to AJC, a tipster found the Explorer at the Brannon Hills Condominiums, a vacant complex off of Memorial College Avenue. The toddler’s car seat was still inside the vehicle and the keys were found inside a cupholder in the SUV.
Blaise’s mother, Deonna Bray, said she went grocery shopping Wednesday morning with Blaise and his father, and their 3-year-old nephew. Blaise’s father brought the nephew and groceries inside the apartment first, while leaving Blaise inside the vehicle.
Within a minute, someone jumped in the Explorer and drove away, with Blaise still inside.
“He was in there for probably like 30 seconds, maybe, and within those 30 seconds he came back outside and the car was gone with Blaise in it,” Bray told AJC.
WSB-TV reports that James Dent is the person who saw the SUV, followed by a man running away from it a few minutes later.
“He ran up the hill at this plaza. By that time I had called police,” Dent said.
Police reportedly said they found the man and determined he was involved in taking the vehicle or the child.
“Don’t put him out on the street. Don’t do that. Please don’t do that,” Bray added, pleading with the suspect.
Along with Clarkston police, DeKalb County police, the GBI and the FBI are assisting in the search.
“If he’s cold, just keep him warm. I know he’s crying right now. Don’t get upset at the crying. He’s just a baby,” Bray said. “He doesn’t know what’s going on. He doesn’t know who you are. Don’t get irritated. I beg you.”
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Clarkston Police Department at 404-557-8956 or 404-292-9465.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Handout]