Mother Knew Alleged Kidnapper - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/15/07

Mother Knew Alleged Kidnapper

Two juveniles now face kidnapping charges for allegedly taking a 3-month-old baby from a car outside her Levelland home.

NewsChannel 11 first broke the story Thursday night shortly after the Amber Alert for Saydi Brookelyn Mendez was issued around 7:15 p.m.

A volunteer firefighter reportedly followed the suspect vehicle and the baby was found inside a car parked in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart in Levelland about 8:30 p.m. A male juvenile was also in the car. Police arrested two suspects inside the store.

Police now believe that the baby's mother pulled into this driveway and ran into the house for a few minutes, leaving baby Saydi and her 3-year-old son in the car with whom she thought was a trustworthy friend.

Chelsea Johnson is grateful to have her hands full.

"I'm happy. I'm glad at least she's home safe with me," Johnson said.

Thursday evening, Johnson wondered if her 3-month-old daughter Saydi Brookelyn would ever rest in the safety of her arms again.

"Yesterday (Thursday), I was with the suspect which was supposedly a friend and we pulled up here at the house and I ran inside for a moment and she was out here with my two babies in the car," Johnson said.

Johnson says the 15-year-old female suspect came into the house a few minutes later claiming she had accidentally thrown some money away.

"We never found it and she said if you find it keep it. We locked the door, came to the car, and I started freaking out because my baby was gone," Johnson said. 

Police say a neighbor witnessed a 16-year-old male suspect take Saydi in her car seat from Johnson's car. An Amber Alert was issued shortly thereafter, and within an hour and a half, baby Saydi was located in the suspect's car in the parking lot of the Levelland Wal-Mart.

Police arrested both the female and male suspect inside the store.

Chelsea says thanks to the quick action taken by Levelland police Saydi is now safe and sound at home.

"Thank you for helping me find my baby. They were on top of what they were doing," Johnson said.

As for why her friend would kidnap baby Saydi, Johnson claims the 15-year-old wanted what she couldn't have.

"She always said she was pregnant and always had a miscarriage but never had a baby. So I think she wanted a baby of her own and she could pass off mine as her own," Johnson said.

But take one look and you can see where baby Saydi feels safest - right where she belongs in her mothers arms.

Friday night, NewsChannel 11 reported three people were taken into custody. Police have since released a juvenile male they don't believe was involved. A 15-year-old female and a 16-year-old male will appear before a judge in the Hockley County Courthouse Monday afternoon. They could face kidnapping charges.

NewsChannel 11 will keep you updated with the latest information.

Amber Alert Cancelled, Baby Found Safe and Three Suspects Arrested in Levelland
Three suspects are being questioned and a three-and-a-half month old baby girl is safe after being reportedly kidnapped from a front yard in Levelland. NewsChannel 11's Ben Lawson has the latest from Levelland.

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