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Child abducted at grocery store

March 28th, 2004 · No Comments

Last night Ted and I were watching TV and caught the 11 o’clock news headlines before we turned it off. One top story concerned a toddler who was abducted at a grocery store in Washington. The sound bite included a picture of the baby boy, chubby face and wide eyes, and how he was screaming.

I took the girls to the grocery store this morning and kept the cart close to me. Then I came home and checked the news website for the update: the boy was found in Spokane, 150 miles from the Ellensberg store. Apparently this was one of the 75% of cases where a relative is the abductor. The boy’s mother and a friend took the child from his grandmother who has custody.

The search for a baby boy snatched from a shopping cart in an Ellensburg supermarket ended Sunday morning, when a police officer found the child and the woman believed to have taken him.
A 37-year-old woman described as a friend of the child’s mother was booked into Spokane County Jail for investigation of second-degree kidnapping; the boy’s 23-year-old mother was arrested Saturday for investigation of custodial interference and simple assault, Willis said.

Investigators believe Thornblade’s mother and her friend snuck up behind the boy’s grandmother, who had taken him along with her to go grocery shopping, at a Safeway store around noon on Saturday.

As the friend whisked the boy away, Willis said, the child’s mother stood in his grandmother’s way to keep from going out into the parking lot.

An Amber Alert broadcast Saturday included a description of the car authorities believe drove away after the woman got inside with Thornblade

The fact that it was the baby’s mother and her friend who took the boy makes it a little less frightening to me: if it had been a stranger randomly grabbing kids in the grocery aisles I’d feel more disturbed and concerned. I do tend to think of the store as a safe place as I wander around putting food into my cart. Occasionally I’ll leave the kids parked for a moment for efficiency while I avoid a traffic jam or rush to find a can or box by myself. This story is a good warning to watch out and be cautious everywhere.

Tags: news