Missing 1-year-old found safe more than 36 hours after being abducted in stolen SUV

CLARKSTON, Ga. — Police have located a missing 1-year-old baby safe after he was abducted in a stolen car early Wednesday morning.

Blaise Barnett was found alive at a home in Clarkston around 3 p.m. Thursday.

Channel 2 Action News was at the scene when the boy was brought out of a home on Rogers Street. Blaise was in the arms of GBI Spokesperson Nelly Miles and wrapped in a blanket.

Blaise was reunited with his family at the Clarkston Police Department.

The home was less than one mile from where Blaise and his family live, and around the corner from the police station.

Family members jumped for joy and praised God when Blaise was brought out of police headquarters on a stretcher with his mother right beside him. He was taken to the hospital to get checked out, but appeared to be unharmed.

Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston talked to Blaise’s mother, Deonna Bray, who thanked God that her son was found safe.

“He’s safe now. He’s home,” Bray said. “That’s all I wanted.”

Huddleston said the woman who owned the home seemed confused at how the boy got there.

Police said the woman found Blaise inside a car in the driveway. She brought him inside and called 911. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was interviewing her on Thursday afternoon. Police said they don’t yet know who put the baby in the car or when.

Tow trucks were at the home Thursday afternoon removing a vehicle.

According to Bray, Blaise was in his family’s car around 1 a.m. when someone stole the Ford Explorer and drove off as she was taking groceries inside.

Bray said the SUV was stolen in just 30 seconds.

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The SUV was found Wednesday near the Brannon Hills condos on Memorial College Avenue, about 1 1/2 miles from the boy’s home.

Channel 2′s Justin Wilfon talked to a neighbor who was overwhelmed with emotion after the baby was found.

“I’m just excited. I can’t stop crying,” Talitha Mowrey said. “We’ve all been looking and praying that this baby was all right. Thank God. Really, the Lord had his hand in this. I’m so relieved. I can’t wait for the baby to get back home to Mama.”

Mowery said the home where the baby was found was owned by a woman who lives alone. Mowery said she has been neighbors with the homeowner for 18 years. Mowery was not sure how the baby ended up in the home, but said she was glad Blaise ended up with someone like her friend and neighbor.

The home-owner did not want to talk on camera, but told Wilfon she found the boy in her SUV when she left her home to run an errand. She called police and investigators arrived moments later.

“I’m not chastising the parents. I know they’ve been sick, as we all have‚ but you cannot leave your keys in the car for a second ... that’s just the world we live in now,” Mowery said. “So I hope everybody takes heed to that. But I wanted to be clear, I’m happy and delighted for the parents that the baby is back.”

Neighbors drove by honking their horns and celebrating Blaise’s safe return.

Clarkston Police issued a statement Thursday night, saying:

“Our entire department breathes a collective sigh of relief with our community knowing Blaise is safe and now reunited with his family. Our entire department thanks our community, media outlets that spread the word, and the local and state law enforcement agencies that assisted us with locating Blaise.”

Investigators said the tip line is still open and they are still asking for anyone with information to come forward.

Clarkston is a small, tight-knit community of just over 7,500 people in DeKalb County.