STEPHENVILLE — Police found a missing two-month-old girl, whose mother said a stranger took her outside the family's home in Stephenville, safe Friday afternoon thanks to tips from residents.
The girl, Addalie Grace Christensen, was found at the suspect parents' home in Dublin, Texas. The suspect, Latonya Suzette McLain, tried to claim the child was hers, police said.
"My understanding is that she claimed the child was hers, but we quickly determined it was not her baby," said Stephenville Police Chief Pat Bridges.
McLain was in custody and reportedly does not know the family. Bond was set at $50,000.
Police said she approached the girl's mother in her garage while the mother tended to her other children.
McLain allegedly demanded $5,000. When the mother said "no," she allegedly grabbed the infant daughter while she was seated in a car in the driveway and fled the scene on foot in the 1000 block of Lingleville Street. Investigators believe McLain had a vehicle waiting around the corner.
Police will be interviewing the woman to ascertain any further motive. She was charged with aggravated kidnapping.
In a news conference Friday afternoon, authorities said the FBI, DPS and sheriff deputies joined police in their search for the child. They said they received a tip and even help from social media that pointed to McLain as a suspect.
"[The tipster] was someone who actually knew Mrs. McLain and had seen her with the baby," Bridges said.
McLain was arrested around 5 p.m.
On Friday night, News 8 talked with Daniel Christensen, Addalie's father.
"There's no way to describe the way it felt when I got the call this morning," Mr. Christensen said. "But, she's home, she's safe, and all good and healthy."
Mr. Christensen thanked all those who helped locate his daughter.
"We can't express enough of our thanks to you guys, and thank you very much for what you guys have done," he said.
If you have any information regarding the case, you are asked to call 911 or 254-918-1273.
Stephenville is 70 miles southwest of Fort Worth.