Georgia Aquarium officials say 'attempted kidnapping' was big misunderstanding

ATLANTA — A mother told Channel 2 Action News that someone tried to kidnap her 4-year-old daughter at the Georgia Aquarium. But aquarium officials say it was a big misunderstanding.

Beverly Hromlaiak was at the aquarium Sunday with her daughter Genevieve, and for one moment she turned her back while watching an exhibit.

That's when she said someone grabbed her young daughter.

"I saw young teenage boy had his arms cupped under her arm pits and was running off with her," Hromlaiak said.

Hromlaiak grabbed the teenager, who said he thought her daughter was his sister.

"He let her go, I let him go, and we walked off to a middle-aged man. They just left. I didn't see any girl with him," Hromlaiak said.


She told security what happened.

"It was terrifying. We ended up finishing the aquarium, but I put a strap on her to make sure, she was with me at all time," Hromlaiak said.

A spokesperson for the aquarium said their security team reviewed footage from that day. The team said it found two families and Hromlaiak's daughter and another girl on camera looked similar in appearance.

Management at the aquarium also said safety is their top priority and continue to aid police with the investigation into the mother's claims.

"Georgia Aquarium takes all matters of security and safety very seriously. We have state-of-the-art security monitoring at our entrances, and we have security cameras throughout the building and parking garage. These cameras are used to monitor the safety of our guests and animals at all times of day. Additionally, security officers and Georgia Aquarium staff are present throughout the building to monitor our entrances, exits, main thoroughfares, and to provide assistance to anyone in need. We pride ourselves on being a premier aquatic educational location all while being a safe place for families and friends."

The aquarium said APD reached out to them and the mother for more information for a police report.