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Kidnapped 2-Month-Old Found Safe In Rural Erath County

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jason Allen
Jason came to North Texas after working as a reporter for four y...
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ERATH COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – There is nothing the family of little Addalie Grace Christensen could think of to explain why this happened. The kidnapping sounded as bizarre to them as it did to police.

Stephenville Police Chief Pat Bridges said in 30 years of service he’s never seen anything like it.

Seven hours of searching led police to a rural trailer home, at the end of a dirt road near Dublin. It was there officers found 2-month-old Addalie Grace, the baby girl kidnapped right out of the family car.

Police said the baby was inside the trailer with 38-year-old Latonya McLain.

Mark Ebeling lives next door to where the baby was found, works with the baby’s father, and saw earlier on the day on Facebook that McLain might have taken the girl.

“Somebody posted that they were looking for, that particular person… and I said to myself ‘I know who that is.’”

Ebeling immediately had his mother call police. But investigators had also seen McLain’s name on Facebook and had also gotten a tip that someone had seen the woman with the child.

Chief Bridges said, “We were seeing a lot of information. We were seeing things on Facebook. I think we would have ultimately located her, but I’m not sure we would’ve done it as quickly as we did, without that person coming forward.”

Police said McLain approached the baby’s mother Friday morning. The mother was getting her three children out a vehicle when McLain demanded $5,000 from her. When the mother refused police say McLain grabbed baby Addalie Grace, who was still in an infant carrier, and ran.

An Amber Alert was issued and police searched the Stephenville neighborhood for hours, but turned up nothing.

After what seemed to be a fruitless morning and afternoon, police then went back to the Stephenville home to tell the family they had found the girl.

Addalie Grace’s grandmother, Nancy Thomas, aid, “We cried. We hugged the officer. We’re very thankful to the law enforcement that put effort into putting it out there she was abducted.”
Public records show McLain previously lived at an apartment complex near the Christensen home, but residents there said it had been several years since she was there.

Some of McLain’s extended family, in Dublin, told CBS 11 News the woman has a young son. They also said they were not surprised she went to her parents home with Addalie Grace, saying the older couple likely would not have been aware the baby was kidnapped.

Police were still interviewing McLain Friday night, and said the plan is to charge her with Aggravated Kidnapping. Investigators said they still don’t know why McLain might have taken the girl.

Police do not believe McLain knew the baby or her family.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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