Hunt is on for kidnappers after baby girl found safe on roadside

  • Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 6:03 p.m., Updated: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 12:34 a.m.
Baby abduction

What kind of person would dump a baby girl alongside a highway and drive off?

That’s the question investigators are trying to answer after the baby was found on a roadside in rural Berkeley County late Tuesday afternoon. The infant was abducted from a house just outside the Holly Hill town limits.

“You start asking what kind of sick individual would steal a 4-month-old and then leave her by the side of the road,” Holly Hill Police Lt. Joshua Detter said.

He was the first officer on the scene when the family called to report that their daughter had been taken from a house on Catamount Road. The father told Detter that four men had come into the house, assaulted him and left with his daughter.

“The dad was standing outside, very distraught,” Detter said. “He said, ‘They got my baby.’ ”

The father said the kidnappers drove off in a green Ford Explorer and a red Chevrolet Impala, Detter said. As of late Tuesday night, investigators had not determined why the child was taken, he said.

A good Samaritan spotted the baby around 5 p.m. along the side of S.C. Highway 311 near S.C. 176, a rural area west of Moncks Corner and not far south of the Orangeburg County line. The driver called for help and stayed with her until EMS got there, Berkeley County Sheriff’s Capt. Rick Ollic said. Emergency workers checked out the infant and determined she was fine, he said.

The temperature was around 60 degrees, so the baby was not freezing, but leaving a child alongside a road could add child endangerment to the long list of possible charges if anybody is arrested.

The baby’s parents were called and drove down from Holly Hill to pick her up.

Not long before the child was found, the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office had sent out a notice that she had been abducted, spokeswoman Keisa Peterson said. Deputies were getting ready to initiate an Amber Alert when the communications center was notified that the infant had been found in Berkeley County, she said.

Berkeley County investigators were working with the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office to find out what happened, Ollic said.

Two vehicles that matched the description of the ones involved in the abduction were spotted in Berkeley County, said Dan Moon, Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office spokesman. Deputies were looking for them around Old Tom Road and Sheep Island Road.

There was no word that any suspects had been taken into custody Tuesday night.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.

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