A quick stop for a soda turns into an Amber Alert and one long nightmare of a morning for a Houston mother. The baby girl is now found and the search is on for the man who took her. This all started when a woman ducked into a convenience store on North Sam Houston Parkway for a soda at 1:15 a.m. and left her 8-month-old daughter asleep in the running car. In a matter of seconds surveillance video shows a man jump into the vehicle and drive away with baby Genesis Haley still inside. The mom tries to chase the car then she's caught on the store's camera running back inside for help.
"In the video she's frantic. She's yelling at the store clerk and the customers,” explains Shaun Sylvester with the Houston Police Department. The woman then ran all the way to her apartment and called 911 because her cell phone was inside her stolen car. The vehicle turned up at 3:30am on Greens Parkway but it wasn't until 7:50am on Ella Boulevard when jogger Houng Nguyen heard crying coming from the bushes. She took a closer look and found 8 month old Genesis still strapped in her car seat. “I was really scared for her. I called 911,” says Nguyen.
Police believe the baby was dumped there around 1:30am shortly after the car was stolen and was left there alone in the woods for hours. "I don't know what kind of animal would do this to a child, leaving the child in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately, the child was still alive,” says Lt. Lopez with the Houston Police Department.
"It's kind of an area very secluded. The baby is lucky to have been found,” adds Officer Sylvester.
"The baby did appear to have some ant bites. I did spot a couple of ants on the baby and I did get them off,” says HPD Officer Albert Pizana. Officer Pizana and his partner arrived in a matter of minutes after the jogger called 911. "I picked her up out of the car seat and held her and tried to console her,” explains Pizana. Then, the father of two says it wasn't his police training but his parenting that kicked in. "Once inside the patrol vehicle she was still fussy. Being a father I know babies like to be swaddled. We don't have any blankets so I used my uniform shirt,” smiles Officer Pizana. His partner snapped a photo of Pizana sitting in the patrol car holding the baby girl wrapped in his police uniform shirt.
Police have released a sketch of the man who they say stole the car with baby Genesis inside. The mother of the 8-month-old says she doesn't’t know the man who stole her car and her baby but she says she recognizes him from the neighborhood. Police say they are reviewing surveillance video from several different businesses in an effort to catch the man. Baby Genesis was examined at Texas Children’s Hospital and released.
”Whenever we can recover a baby that's alive it feels good. It makes you want to go home and hug your kids even tighter,” adds Officer Pizana.