(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) — An Albuquerque Police Department officer’s lapel camera caught the stunning moment he found a 3-year-old girl abandoned alone in a “freezing cold” parking lot after she was abducted by a car thief this past Saturday evening.
The 3-year-old girl identified as Caraline by the APD was found huddled in a purple jacket and black boots while sitting in a vacant lot in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after 1 a.m. on Sunday, according to APD lead public information officer, Tanner Tixier.
“She was very, very cold, very scared, but fortunately not injured or (suffering from hypothermia) when she was found,” Tixier told ABC News on Tuesday. “All things considered, she was in pretty decent health for what she had just gone through.”
Caraline was taken by an unidentified man around 8:30 a.m. local time on Saturday at a grocery store about two miles away from the lot she was found in, Tixier said.
The 3-year-old was in the backseat of the car with her seatbelt buckled when her mother quickly stepped out to fill up a water jug only 10 feet away, Tixier explained. A man swiftly hopped into the driver’s seat and fled, to the horror of Caraline’s mother, he added.
An amber alert was issued immediately after the mother reported the car theft, according to police.
Officers were initially able to locate the stolen vehicle near a local thrift store, though the suspect and Caraline were not in it, police wrote on Facebook. The young girl was later found by Officer Chris Poccia during a coordinated grid search.
The suspect remained at large as of Tuesday afternoon, though he was apparently caught on grainy surveillance footage from the grocery store where Caraline was initially taken, police said.
Police are asking anyone with tips to call them at 505-242-2677.
Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Recent posts in National News