ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) - Asheville police said a missing infant who was reportedly kidnapped Thursday afternoon has been found safe.
APD says the 7-week-old child and her mother were reportedly kidnapped in in their vehicle around 4:30 p.m. on Dearborn Street in the Biltmore Park area.
The mother reported they were kidnapped by two people wearing ski masks and driven away in her silver 2014 Mazda CX-5.
The mother was able to get away from the kidnappers and is with Henderson County deputies. APD says she was found safely but her condition now is unknown.
The mother's vehicle was also found on Grant Mountain Road in Henderson County.
The baby girl was not in the car when it was located.
Asheville police later released a photo of the baby girl, named Shaylie. APD says she was last seen wearing a pink onesie with horizontal white stripes.
Vehicle has been located in Henderson County. We are still searching for the missing child. Described as a 7-week old female, goes by the name of Shaylie. Last seen wearing a pink onesie w/horizontal white stripes. pic.twitter.com/s2NqD55tR8— Asheville Police (@AshevillePolice) May 9, 2019
Police said the suspects are a man and woman. Both were thin and wearing ski masks. The male reportedly had red hair and the woman had black hair.
SHAYLIE FOUND SAFE
Around 8:15 p.m. police announced that the baby girl had been found in Henderson County and was safe.
Henderson County deputies said the girl was found at an address on Slick Rock Road. The address is more than 20 miles from where the kidnapping occurred.
As of now, more information on the incident is limited and APD does not know exactly who called 911. We're told the family lives near where the kidnapping occurred.
Police said the case remains under investigation.
A NURSE'S INSTINCTS KICK IN
Courtney Fowler wasn't expecting to find a baby near her home Thursday, but when her family heard the child's cries, she knew she had to step up to keep Shaylie safe. Fowler says she and her dad found the child in the weeds nearby.
"He backed the car up, and at that point I had saw the car seat. The car seat was down over the bank," said Fowler. "I couldn't see the baby but I saw the car seat. He went down over the bank and got the car seat and the baby, and he brought it up the bank to me, then I held it and then my mom held it. That was probably for 30 minutes before EMS arrived."
Fowler says Shaylie was bruised and scraped, but believed Shaylie would be okay. She also had seen photos of Shaylie on Facebook but didn't read into stories posted online about what was going on. Only until after Shaylie was taken by EMS did it all connect for her.
But Fowler also tells us her own dog may have spotted the Mazda that left Shaylie nearby.
"I just thought it was a baby," said Fowler. "My dog started barking, which usually means a car is coming up the driveway. When I looked out over into the porch, I saw dust and the glimpse of a grey car. When I got up to walk back to the back of the house, there was nobody here. But I do remember seeing some kind of vehicle come up our driveway."
Fowler says her mom swore she heard a baby crying, but Fowler initially dismissed that, saying baby animals cry out near their home often. It was only until she saw Shaylie's car seat when it clicked.
"It just felt surreal. It felt like an out-of-body experience, like I was in a movie," she said. "I'm still kind of in shock from it all."
Fowler is relieved Shaylie will be okay, and she credits her experience as a nurse for making sure little Shaylie was safe after the dust settled.
"When I first saw the baby, my nurse instinct kind of kicked in, but then a mother instinct kicked in. It was rewarding to hold that baby and know it was going to be okay. I think that everything happens for a reason, and that we were at the right place at the right time tonight," she said.