Police: Attempted Walmart kidnapper a confessed killer

Updated:

BREMEN, Ga.,None —

Channel 2 has learned that the man who attempted to kidnap a 7-year-old girl from a Bremen Walmart in West Georgia is a confessed killer.

Investigators said Thomas Woods, 25, of Austell,  came up behind Brittney Baxter in the toy aisle of a local Walmart and grabbed her.

Woods, who was arrested shortly after the incident, facing kidnapping charges, insisted he was not in the Walmart and that he did not harm anyone. 

But Channel 2's Ross Cavitt uncovered more details about the ex-con, who confessed to murdering his uncle in 2004, as part of a plea deal.

Woods was released from jail last October in this case, after serving four out of his seven-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter.

Cavitt's investigation revelealed that Woods had been living with his father in this small trailer in a campground near Austell, and neighbors say he'd been working every day and playing by rules. So much so that his probation officer put him on non-reporting status, meaning no monthly check-ins or drug tests.

But the next thing the neighbors knew, the Walmart video showing the attempted abduction appeared, leaving them wondering what went wrong.

The footage shows the man put his hand over her mouth, but Brittney kicked, squirmed and made as much noise as possible before the man let go and ran off.

In an interview, the girl, who has garnered national interviews since the video circulated, tells Cavitt the man started talking to her while she was looking at toys.

"I just said, 'I'm going to see what my momma is doing,' and he just grabbed me and picked me up," Brittney said.

Brittney's mother was picking up groceries just a few feet away.

"I was freaking out at that point. I just couldn't believe it," Georgeann Baxter said.

Police said Brittney did exactly what she was supposed to do -- fight and scream.

"I was just trying to do like this, and kick as hard as I can," Brittney said.

Police said a description of the man's car led them to Tallapoosa, where Woods was arrested Wednesday afternoon.

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