1-Year-Old Georgia Boy Reunited with His Mom After Being Abducted from His Stroller at Gunpoint
"It was just a nightmare for five hours until finally, we got the news that they had found him," the young boy's aunt said.
A 1-year-old boy, who was kidnapped at gunpoint on Saturday, has been safely reunited with his family, according to multiple reports.
On Sunday, the Chamblee Police Department in Chamblee, Georgia, confirmed that Mateo Mantufar-Barrera had been found and that the two suspects allegedly involved in his abduction — Maynor Dario Valera Zuniga and Kristin Nicole Valera Zuniga — were arrested and in police custody, CNN and WSB-TV 2 reported.
Both have been charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault and battery.
Police told the outlets that the incident occurred on Saturday at around 12:30 p.m. local time at the Balfour Chamblee Apartments in Chamblee. The boy’s mother, Leslie Bamaca, told authorities she was walking Mateo in his stroller near their apartment when Maynor got out of an Acura SUV and pointed a gun at her.
Bamaca said she managed to grab the gun from Maynor and tried to shoot him but the weapon did not go off. That, she reported, was when Kristin got out of the passenger seat and grabbed Mateo. Then, the suspects drove off with the young boy.
Jessica Bamaca, Leslie's sister, told WSB-TV that she had heard her sister scream from inside the apartment. By the time she got outside, she found Leslie bleeding and crying that Mateo had been abducted.
"We have no idea who they are. It’s the first time we’ve seen them. We don’t know where they came from. We don’t know what their intentions were," she said. “[Leslie] fought back with all her strength. She fought back until the last second. She put herself in front of that car. She ran behind that car. She did all she could.”
"From there on, it was just a nightmare for five hours until finally, we got the news that they had found him, and that they were taking him back to the police station to be reunited with my sister and his father," Jessica added.
Later that day, police found Mateo, unharmed, with the suspects in Carroll County. Police said they had dressed Mateo up as a girl to try and conceal him.
The motive behind the kidnapping is still unknown.
“I thank God for the opportunity to see him again,” Jessica said. “We’re just so grateful toward him and toward all the people who helped us out as well. It feels comforting that he’s finally home.”