ATLANTA - A woman accused of kidnapping an 8-month-old child and leading police on a chase through several counties appeared in court Thursday.
Samantha Nicole Barrett, 22, was charged with attempting to elude a police officer, cruelty to children, reckless conduct and driving with a suspended or revoked license.
Channel 2's Linda Stouffer said Barrett said very little during the hearing. She appeared before a judge in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs. The judge ordered her to remain behind bars on $20,000 bond. Barrett will not be released because of pending charges in Bartow, Lamar and Cobb counties.
Police say Barrett drove off with Kristyn Howard’s car and her son, William Kaidyn Stover, when Howard briefly ran into her Bartow County home.
“I went inside and grabbed a lighter, I was going to take my friend to the store, and come back outside the car's gone,” Howard said.
Two drivers and a deputy spotted the vehicle in Henry County more than 13 hours after Barrett disappeared with the child, police said.
"It's like I told my wife, you hear those Amber Alerts all the time. You think I probably won't ever see it and then bam, she was right there in front of me withing two car lengths," one witness told Stouffer on the phone.
New details emerged in court Thursday about the chase involving Barrett. Police said they tried to pull Barrett over but she refused and they pursued her for 20 miles, with speeds reaching as high as 90 mph. Barrett eventually lost control and ran off the road into a wooded area of Lamar County and then ran from the car. The child was found safe in the back seat.
Bartow County deputies continue to investigate the abduction and the motive.
"Now we step it up a notch to find out what the motive was, why did she take this child? Was anyone else involved?" Sheriff Clark Millsap told Channel 2's Tom Regan.
It's not clear yet what charges Barrett could face in other counties.
Channel 2 Action News learned Thursday baby William has been taken into state custody. Channel 2's Tom Regan is working to learn more about this developing story and will have the latest starting on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m.
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