BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - A terrifying night for a woman in Bainbridge. Someone stole her van with her two daughters asleep inside. Luckily, the man abandoned the van and the girls were found safely.
Kaylie and Jaidyn Boyette were all smiles and giggles Wednesday afternoon. You'd never guess that less than 24 hours earlier, they were kidnapped with their mother only feet away.
"I don't know how to describe it, I was terrified," said single mother of two Heather Boyette.
Shortly after 10pm Tuesday night Heather Boyette went to go pick up her friend at her friend's boyfriend's house off Water Street in Bainbridge.
"She wasn't outside so I went up to the door to get her to come on," said Boyette.
Her girls were sleeping and it was cold so she kept the heat on, the van running, and walked up to the door. Three minutes later...
"I turn around and walked back out the door and in that time my van was gone," said Boyette.
Police say 37-year-old Ismael Garcia-Diaz jumped in the van and took off. The oldest sibling, 6 year-old Kaylie Boyette, says she woke up shortly after her kidnapper started driving.
"The car was moving and I saw short hair in the car and it wasn't mama!" she said.
"I guess he did not know my children were in the car because they were asleep and when he realized they were in the car the police say they feel like he panicked because he whipped into a parking lot, left the doors open, the lights on, and took off running," said Boyette.
Officers patrolling the area actually passed the van on the road. When they heard about a stolen vehicle one of the officers remembered the van they had just passed and turned around.
Police found the van with the children safe inside, and Garcia-Diaz hiding in bushes behind the shopping center parting lot.
So finally, after 30 minutes of torture for Heather Boyette, was reunited with her girls, Kaylie and Jaidyn.
"I was just crying, I just kept apologizing to them I was like mommy will never leaver you ever again," she said.
"I was glad to see my mama again," said Kaylie.
"I never thought anything like this could happen in such a short period of time, but it can, it can..." she said.
A lesson for mother's everywhere. And for this lucky mom, a hard lesson, with a happy ending.
Ismael Garcia-Diaz is charged with 2 counts of kidnapping and auto theft. Feedback