GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A suspect still remains at large after allegedly kidnapping a baby, who was later found safe and stealing a vehicle early Friday morning in Greenville County.
According to the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded at 3:51 a.m. to a stolen black 2013 Nissan Altima at the QuikTrip located at 1509 Grove Road.
Deputies said the child’s father went inside the QT.
After an AMBER alert, the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center received a call just before 7 a.m. stating a baby was found in a car seat, in front of a business, located at 22 Garlington Road.
“I got here at around 6:55 is when I pulled in. I walked up to the front door and saw an infant, in a little car seat, she was sleeping. I kinda freaked out for a minute,” said Jordyn Derzek, the woman who found the baby.
Jordyn Derzek says she immediately called the police.
“I ended up changing the infant into a fresh diaper, because she was wet, and then just stayed with her in the lobby and then they kind of just took it from there,” she said.
Investigators later learned the baby had been dropped off at around 4:04 a.m.
“Surveillance video seemed to show that he dropped her around 4 a.m., I believe. And then I came at 6:50/7 o’clock, so, she might have been sitting out there for quite a few hours. Luckily, she was asleep,” said Derzek.
Pat Thackston works at the business right across the street from the QT. She says she was woken up by a phone call around 5 a.m. Friday morning.
“Answered the phone and they said that a child had been abducted at the QT across from Cochran’s Store here,” said Thackston.
She says she immediately started praying that the baby would be returned safely.
“It’s hard to know that somebody would take a child. I can see them stealing a car, but not, make sure a child’s not in the car if you’re going to take it,” she said.
The child is okay and was sleeping when deputies arrived. As a precaution, the baby, who has been reunited with her family, was transported to the hospital for an evaluation.
“I just knew that she was lucky that she was able to go back to mom and dad and that everything kind of worked itself out. It was just very nerve-wracking, like why was this infant here and no one was around,” said Derzek.
“Please, I can not reiterate enough, please think twice about leaving your children in vehicles that are unattended. We have seen what can happen on two occasions this week, and while fortunately, these two incidents ended with the recovery of both children, we can’t always assume that to be the case,” Sheriff Hobart Lewis said. “So parents and caregivers please keep your children with you.”
Deputies said the suspect still remains at large with the stolen vehicle. The vehicle is a black Nissan Altima with a #1 Auto Sales paper tag.
Anyone who sees the suspect or the vehicle is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers of Greenville at 23-CRIME.