Hunt for unwitting kidnapper continues - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hunt for unwitting kidnapper continues

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

December 2, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Police are still searching for the person who last night stole a car left running outside an Albany store with an 11-month-old baby inside.

Today Police say they are working on charging the Mother of that baby for leaving her alone.

The baby was unhurt, and spent the day with her Mother and family rejoicing the happy ending to a terrifying ordeal.  

Jordyn Bridges was enjoying all the attention at her home, filled with her parents and family.

 "Just rejoicing to have her back," her mother, Jennifer Allen said. Father Antonio Bridges said "It's a relief, man."

Just before 6:30 Monday night, Allen left Jordyn strapped in her car seat, with the car running while she ran Family Dollar on Radium Springs Road.

 "I went just to get a pack of gravy mix, just to come home and cook." Allen said.

When she looked out, her car was gone, and so was Jordyn. "Things happen so fast. I was in that store maybe two minutes. Two minutes."

Albany Police started a frantic search for the child. Three and a half hours later Jordyn was found inside the car, abandoned at an apartment complex on Sands Drive.

"She was strapped in the car seat, but she had turned around. I guess she was cold. She had cradled down in the car asleep," Allen said.

Jordyn is happy, active, and very lucky. Allen says she learned a valuable lesson the hard way. "I will never, ever, ever leave her in a car."

 "She extremely lucky," said Albany Police Detective Terrence Whitlock.

Police say they questioned a 14-year-old boy about the car theft last night, but released him. There have been no arrests. But Police say they are considering charging Allen for leaving the child in the car alone.

"Right now we are consulting with the DA's office about the charges that may be brought against Ms. Allen," Whitlock said.

Allen said today she is just celebrating that Jordyn is unhurt. "I'm thanking all the people in the community's, that got out and looked for her. I do appreciate all that."

Jordyn's 1st birthday is a week from Saturday, and her life and safety will be greatly celebrated.

Albany Police say when they catch the man who stole the car, he faces motor vehicle theft and kidnapping charges.

DFACS will also look into the Jordyn Bridges case, and they warn parents to play it safe when it comes to their kids.

State officials warn that families are busier this time of year with work, shopping, and the holidays. They remind parents to make sure their children are properly supervised at all times, especially in stores while shopping.

"It only takes one time, and that's why we definitely want to say to parents, especially with young children, please do not leave them unsupervised. Not even for short periods of time. Not even for a minute, because something could happen in that minute," says Dougherty Co. DFACS Director Kimberly Smith.

Georgia does not have a law or regulations to determine when a child is considered old enough to be left unsupervised, but DFACS guidelines say children under eight years old should never be left alone, even for short periods of time.

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