Teens Face Kidapping Charge After Stealing Car, Dumping Infant and Child on Freezing Roadside

January 19, 2018 Updated: January 22, 2018

Two Georgia men who abandoned a 4-year-old and a 1-month-old infant in sub-freezing weather after finding them in a car they had stolen have been charged with kidnapping.

Khyree Swift and an unnamed 16-year-old accomplice spotted a 2009 Chevy Equinox idling at the gas pumps at a QuikTrip convenience store on Riverdale Road in Clayton County, Georgia, just south of Atlanta, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

They jumped in a drove off, not bothering to look in the back seat.

The owner of the SUV, Precious Wilmer, left the engine running to provide heat for her two children, 4-year-old Arya and 1-month-old Ava, who were in the back seat. She paid the cashier and as she was heading back to the car, saw it disappear down the road toward.

Police immediately began a search for the missing SUV—and the kidnapped children.   

First Lucky Break

Swift, 17, an Atlanta resident, noticed quickly that he had unexpected passengers. He and his underage accomplice dropped 4-year-old Arya on the side of the road just 2.5 miles from the store, at the I-285 on-ramp.

Shortly after, Arya was collected by Georgia State University Police Chief Joseph Spillane.

According to WSB-TV, Chief Spillane was driving with his wife to the airport.

Spillane saw the SUV run a red light. At first, he thought the car had skidded on a patch of ice. Then he noticed a child standing by the side of the road near the on-ramp. He stopped—that turn of fate might have saved Arya’s life.

Ava (L) and Arya were both found unharmed and healthy After a thief stole the car in which they were sitting. (Screenshot—WSB-TV)
Ava (L) and Arya were both found unharmed and healthy After a thief stole the car in which they were sitting. (Screenshot—WSB-TV)

“There’s no homes, there’s no place of safety over there at all,” Spillane told WSB.  “Out here on an icy road with cars going by—we’re just lucky that poor child was not killed.”

Arya was wearing a cloth coat and had only one boot. She must have been freezing—but what she talked about was her missing sister.

“She said, ‘Somebody took my mommy’s truck, and my little sister’s inside,’” Chief Spillane related. “She was obviously upset and crying and of course, worrying about her little sister.” 

An Even Luckier Break

Swift and his partner in crime drove north toward Atlanta, apparently at a loss as to how to get rid of the infant Ava, who was wearing a pink snowsuit and strapped into a car seat.

Eventually, the pair dropped the infant, still in her car seat, right in the middle of the South Fulton Parkway, 5 miles from the I-285 on-ramp where they dropped her older sister, Clayton County Police Sgt. Ashanti Marbury told the Journal-Constitution.

The 1-month-old infant was left on the road, in her car seat, for almost two hours The temperature at the time was about 22 degrees, and there was a 20-mph wind blowing.     

It was only by luck that Ava was rescued before hypothermia took hold. A TV news cameraman for WSB, Brian Ferguson, was driving down Fulton Parkway on the way to the crime scene to shoot a live report when he saw a bundle of some sort in the road. He ignored it at the time.                  

While talking with his reporter and law enforcement officials at the crime scene, Ferguson heard a description of the car seat and what the tiny Ava was wearing. Ferguson told police, then hopped into the back seat of a police car and led the officers to where he saw the bundle.

The bundle was indeed the car seat containing Ava, cold but unhurt, sitting in the middle of the highway.  

Both children were transported to Southern Regional Medical Center for observation, but both were fine.

“When I had both of them back I was just happy,” the children’s mother, Precious Wilmer, told WSB. “I held them all night, literally.”

Police later recovered Wilmer’s SUV from where it had been abandoned along Metropolitan Parkway in southwest Atlanta. Surveillance video captured the pair as they dumped the car.

Precious Wilmer feed one-month-old Ava in Southern Regional Medical Center where the infant was under observation after enduring numbing cold. (Screenshot—WSB-TV)
Precious Wilmer feeds 1-month-old Ava in Southern Regional Medical Center where the infant was under observation after enduring numbing cold. (WSB-TV/Screenshot)

Serious Charges

Swift and his 16-year-old accomplice are facing multiple serious charges, including kidnapping, according to the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office. They are exceedingly lucky not to be facing charges of murder.

Swift was arrested on Friday, Jan. 19, the Journal-Constitution reported. Law enforcement has not provided details on where his underage accomplice was apprehended.

So far both face charges of kidnapping, first-degree cruelty to children, theft, and receiving stolen property.

From NTD.tv

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