by: WSBTV.com web staff Updated:
BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. - An 8-month-old child is back home with his mother after being abducted early Wednesday morning.
The Bartow County Sheriff's Office issued a child-abduction alert for 8-month-old William Kaidyn Stover shortly after midnight Wednesday.
“I went inside and grabbed a lighter, I was going to take my friend to the store, and come back outside the cars gone,” said Kristyn Howard, the boy’s mother.
Deputies said Samantha Nicole Barrett, 22, took the child from a home on Comanchee Street in Cartersville.
Just after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, police said, someone spotted Barrett's car along Interstate 75 in Henry County and called 911.
Officers said they tried to pull Barrett over, but she drove off along I-75 near Highway 36.
Investigators said Barrett was driving at speeds as high as 90 miles an hour with the child in the back seat.
Police said they arrested Barrett when she crashed her car and then tried to run from the vehicle into a wooded area off of the interstate.
"I think what I heard is when she hit this pole. It made a big boom sound. She was already was out of the car and was running toward my house," said witness Nancy Turner. "She was almost at my front door and three officers tagged her, put her in handcuffs."
Investigators said they found William safe in the back seat of the car.
"And then I saw a little kid, one of the officers was holding officer, so that's when I figured it was the Amber Alert," Turner said.
"(The) baby is safe and sound, which is a happy thing. Now we step it up a notch to find out what the motive was, why did she take this child? Was anyone else involved in the abduction of this child?" Sheriff Clark Millsap told Channel 2's Tom Regan.
Sgt. Joe Smith, of the Henry County Police Department, told Channel 2's Rachel Stockman little William was doing well when they found him in the back of Barrett's car.
"He was excited," Smith said. "(There was) a lot of activity. He was involved in a chase, and he didn't recognize anybody, but he was fine. Normal little baby."
A friend of Howard’s told Regan she helped in the search for the abductor and felt the mother's fear, being a mom herself.
"It's pretty tragic. It's ridiculous. It's crazy. I'd go insane if it was my child," friend Amber Smith said.
Howard and baby William were finally reunited later Wednesday evening. And Barrett – now Howard’s former friend – is in police custody.
“We’re enemies, now,” Howard told reporters as she left police headquarters Wednesday evening. “I hope they light her a** on fire.”
Howard said she is just happy to have William back.
“The way my car looks, I’m just glad my baby is alive,” she said.
Earlier in the day, Howard took to Facebook to voice her frustration. Howard posted how she hadn't eaten since Tuesday. She posted a message on Barrett's Facebook page saying, "I just want my baby."
A post on Barrett's Facebook page a few hours later stated, "I'm on a money mission."
Records pulled by Channel 2's Ross Cavitt show Barrett was released from the Cobb County Jail on July 30 after spending two weeks behind bars for probation violation.
She was arrested in Bartow County in 2009 for possession of methamphetamine.
Police told Stockman that during the course of the chase, a man jumped out of the car and ran. Police do not know the man's role in the case, but he is now in police headquarters for questioning.
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