Authorities in Georgia have found a 1-year-old boy who went missing after a suspected thief took off with his mother’s car while the minor was still in the vehicle. According to ABC7, Blaise Barnett had been missing for a day and a half before he was safely found.
Deonna Bray, who is the minor’s mother, said they were able to breathe a sigh of relief on Thursday after a woman called 911 to notify authorities she had found little Blaise in her car. “I instantly started crying, a rush of just happiness. I was speechless,” Bray recalled.
The day before her son was found, Bray sent an urgent appeal asking for help in locating him as she was “covered in emotions.”
“I’ve never been away from him like this where I don’t know where he’s at, so I’m hurt … Bring him back safely and unharmed in the quickest way possible,” she said.
Bray said Blaise was in her unlocked SUV when someone got inside and took off. The minor’s parents said they were offloading groceries into their apartment at the time, a police report stated, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The toddler’s father, Xavier Barnett, also said he had initially taken his 3-year-old nephew inside, and he was returning to the car to pick Blaise up. Bray said Barnett was indoors for probably 30 seconds, and while he was away, someone got into the car and drove off. Though the car’s engine was turned off at the time, the keys remained in the cupholder.
Almost 36 hours after the minor was reported missing, a woman found the toddler inside her parked car. She subsequently took Blaise indoors before calling 911, ABC7 reported. Officials determined the minor was in a “good condition” after a medical test was conducted on him when he was found.
Police were also able to track down Bray’s stolen vehicle hours before Blaise was ultimately found. However, the toddler and his car seat weren’t in the vehicle at the time. Blaise’s mother said prayer played a part in bringing her son back home.
“We got him. When he said that I was like, ‘You got him?’ Everybody was just screaming, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, OK,’ and I started crying … I just knew now my baby’s safe,” Bray said.