June 23, 2014 - Houston police are asking for the public's help in locating a suspect wanted in the abduction of a baby girl at 1110 North Sam Houston Parkway West about 1:15 a.m. TODAY (Monday, June 23).
The suspect is described only as a black male, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing about 140 pounds, with a thin build. He has a high top haircut with a slant to one side. He also has a blond or white patch on the top of his head. He is believed to be in his late teens to early 20s. A composite sketch of the suspect is attached to this news release.
At a media briefing this afternoon, HPD Homicide Division Lieutenant H. Lopez described what happened.
"The mother stopped at a gas station and went into the convenience store, leaving her eight-month-old daughter, buckled in her car seat, asleep in the back seat," he said. "The vehicle was left running with the keys in the ignition. While she was inside the store, the mother saw the suspect getting into the car and drive off. She ran out and tried unsuccessfully to chase him," Lieutenant Lopez added.
"The mother had locked all the doors except for the driver's side door. She told us she left the car running because the baby was asleep," said HPD Homicide Division Officer Shaun Sylvester. "The mother was inside the store for a matter of seconds when the suspect took the car. He was actually in such a hurry he left the driver's door open while he fled," Officer Sylvester added.
The mother tried to get a clerk and customers to call police, but when she was unable to do so, she ran home and called police. An Amber Alert was then issued for baby Genesis Hailey. About 3:30 a.m., the mother's green Saturn Ion was located abandoned at 1400 Greens Parkway.
About 7:50 a.m., a female jogger flagged down HPD patrol officers and reported possibly finding the child in a wooded field at 11300 Ella Boulevard. Officer Albert Pizana and his partner then investigated.
"In the bushes, I was able to see the car seat and saw the baby inside. She started moving and crying," Officer Pizana said. "I grabbed the car seat and carried her into the open so I could see if there were any visible injuries. I did see what appeared to be ant bites and a few ants on her, but I was able to get them off. Once I saw that she was moving and appeared okay, I took her out of the car seat, held her, and just tried to console her."
"My partner and I took her into the patrol vehicle where it was cool," Officer Pizana added. "Once inside the patrol vehicle, she was still fussy. Being a father, I know sometimes babies like to be swaddled. Since I didn't have a blanket, I decided to use my uniform shirt and that calmed her down," he added.
The baby was transported to Texas Children's Hospital for evaluation, found to be in good condition, and released to her mother.
"In my experience, the outcome isn't always this happy. She's alive and well and has the rest of her life ahead of her," said Officer Pizana.
"This is also a good reminder to the public of the dangers of leaving a car running, especially with a baby inside," Lieutenant Lopez said.
Anyone with information on this case, or on the identity or whereabouts of the suspect, is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
A link to today's media briefing can be found athttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbOWCOh7ZFEThe video begins 4:08 minutes into the clip.
UPDATE: KJS/JFC 6-23-14
For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.