The RCMP will charge three people, including a young offender, in connection with the Tuesday kidnapping of a seven-month-old girl and the theft of a pickup truck in Grande Prairie, Alta.
The Mounties on Wednesday said they intend to charge a 26-year-old female and a 22-year-old male with kidnapping, theft of a motor vehicle, abandoning a child, possession of stolen property over $5,000, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and failing to comply with a recognizance. Both adults are from Grande Prairie. A 14-year-old from Edmonton is facing similar charges, the RCMP said, along with failing to comply with a probation order.
The trio remains in police custody, awaiting a bail hearing expected later Wednesday afternoon. The names of the adults will be released Thursday, the RCMP said.
The accused stole an idling Dodge Ram truck from a driveway Tuesday afternoon. Baby Addison was alone in the truck when it was stolen because the driver got out of the vehicle to pick up something from the home. This happened between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m.
About two hours later, the infant, still in her car seat, was found by chance on the porch of a house in a rural area 15 minutes out of town.
The temperature was -16, with a wind chill of -23, in Grande Prairie around 3 p.m. Tuesday, the time Addison was discovered. It appears the resident who spotted the infant went outside by coincidence, rather than because the baby’s abductors rang the doorbell or knocked on the door, said Corporal Roy Kennedy of Grande Prairie’s RCMP detachment.
“Probably not every day that you go outside of your residence and find an abandoned infant on your step or front porch,” he said.
Around 4:15 p.m., with help from a tip from the public and an RCMP helicopter, authorities located the stolen truck. It was found at a forestry products mill south of Grande Prairie. A foot chase ensued behind the mill, and police were able to take three people into custody, the RCMP said in a statement.
“The family of the infant are extremely thankful for the outpouring of support they received from the community in helping to locate their daughter but have now asked for their privacy,” the RCMP said in a statement Wednesday.
The theft of the truck occurred outside a home in Grande Prairie’s Royal Oaks neighbourhood, according to the Edmonton Journal. Jodi McWilliams witnessed the incident at her neighbour’s home.
The woman driving the Dodge Ram pulled into the driveway to pick up something. Because it was so cold, she left the baby in the idling truck, Ms. McWilliams said.
Then a loud, blue Ford truck pulled up.
“Someone literally jumped out of the blue Ford, got right in her truck and drove off before she really had time to react,” Ms. McWilliams told CBC.
“She was just going to be a second picking something up from my neighbour, and by the time she turned around, the truck was going down the road,” she said.
Other neighbours jumped in their vehicles, trying to hunt down the thieves, but they were too quick.
“It’s broad daylight, middle of the day, 12:30 on a Tuesday afternoon,” Ms. McWilliams said. “Nobody really thinks anything like that is going to happen.”
Addison, who was not wearing any shoes when she was abducted, was taken to the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Grande Prairie. She appeared to be unharmed when she was found, the RCMP said.
Cpl. Kennedy said the home where Addison was found is south of Grande Prairie on a township road.
The recovered truck has a pink sticker on the tailgate: “Baby on board.”