(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.) — A missing 5-month-old boy was found safe in the car he was apparently stolen in, police said Thursday, after three days.
Nalah Jackson, 24, the suspect sought in the kidnapping, was taken into custody Thursday in Indianapolis, Indiana, police said hours earlier.
Kason Thomass was found near a Papa Johns in Indianapolis, police said, adding that the “5-month-old boy is in good health & being transported to a hospital to be checked out.”
The search for Kason was launched Monday night after a homeless woman allegedly stole his mom’s running 2010 Honda Accord in Columbus, Ohio. Kason and his twin, Kyair, were inside the vehicle while their mom stepped away to pick up a food order, police said.
Kyair was found around 4:40 a.m. Tuesday abandoned at the Dayton International Airport, more than 70 miles from Columbus. Surveillance cameras captured Jackson allegedly abandoning Kyair in his car seat in a parking lot at the Dayton airport, authorities said.
Police identified Jackson as the suspected car thief and initially said investigators believed she still had Kason in her possession. Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant said witnesses told police Jackson was seated inside the restaurant when the mother walked in.
Jackson was taken into custody in Indianapolis around 2 p.m. local time Thursday, Columbus police said. Kason, who was last seen wearing a brown onesie, was not with Jackson at the time of her arrest, according to Bryant.
Police had received tips earlier Thursday that Jackson may have been spotted in Indianapolis. A person believed to be Jackson was stopped by police Thursday afternoon in the city and was positively identified through fingerprints an hour later, police said.
Jackson has been charged with two counts of kidnapping and is currently being questioned by police, Bryant said.
“We are relieved to have located the suspect, and it takes us one step closer to locating Kason,” Bryant told reporters during a briefing Thursday early evening. “But we will not stop searching until he is brought home safely.”
The FBI assisted in the search for Kason, providing personnel and technology.
Amid the search for Kason, Dion Green, who survived a 2019 mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, that claimed the life of his father, established a $10,000 reward for the baby’s safe return.
“I hope and pray that this baby is found safe and that we can get him back home to his mother,” Green said in a Facebook post on Wednesday announcing the reward.
On Aug. 4, 2019, Green was out with his father, Derrick Fudge, in Dayton’s Oregon District when a 24-year-old man went on a shooting rampage, killing nine people, including Fudge, and wounding dozens more. In the aftermath of the massacre, Green founded the Fudge Foundation to help individuals impacted directly and indirectly by mass shootings, violence, human trafficking, domestic abuse and other forms of trauma.
“My main concern is the child,” Green told ABC affiliate station WSYS in Columbus. “I just want to get the baby and make sure we get him returned back home safely.”
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