INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A News 8 photographer captured the moment Plainfield police learned a 6-month-old kidnapping victim had been found safe.
The video shows deputy police chief Joe Aldridge picking up his phone, doubling over with relief and blinking back tears.
He can be heard saying one word to the caller: “Awesome!”
Cameras caught Aldridge wiping his eyes before sharing the good news with reporters covering the frantic search for the baby girl.
She was inside her father’s truck when it was stolen Thursday around 6:30 a.m. from a BP gas station on Hadley Road, near State Road 267 and Interstate 70.
Her father left the engine running and the door unlocked when he “briefly” went inside the gas station convenience store because his Apple Pay app wasn’t working, according to authorities.
The unidentified suspect leapt into the driver’s seat and drove off with the baby, sparking a multiagency search and a statewide Amber Alert.
Danyell Massing, an Indianapolis mother, did a double take when she saw a truck matching the stolen vehicle’s description parked in her neighborhood, near I-70 and Sam Jones Expressway.
“When I looked out my window, I was like, ‘That looks like that truck on the news,'” she told News 8. “My heart was pounding. I didn’t know if I should open the door and grab this baby. So I just called the cops and said, ‘I found the truck.'”
Police arrived moments later and found the infant in the abandoned truck, unharmed.
The suspect remained at large Thursday night. Police described him as a white man with a gray beard wearing a white shirt.
Massing credited news reports and Facebook posts with helping her recognize the stolen vehicle.
“Thank God for social media,” she said.