Baby Addison – a seven-month-old wearing pink pants and a pink tunic with blue and pink hearts – was in the back of a Dodge Ram pickup truck in Grande Prairie Tuesday afternoon when it was stolen.
About two hours later, the infant girl, 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., the time she was discovered. It appears the rural resident who spotted Addison went outside by coincidence, rather than because her 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, RCMP said in a statement.
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 Tuesday, the woman 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,” Ms. McWilliams 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, RCMP said. The Mounties are not releasing Addison’s parents’ names at this time.
The RCMP did not immediately lay charges on the three apprehended people.
Cpl. Kennedy said the rural 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.”