Police said a major search was underway for a missing 5-month-old baby in Ohio after a car was stolen with him and his twin brother as their mother drove away to take her food order.
Police said one of the children was found abandoned at Dayton International Airport, more than 70 miles from Columbus, where his mother’s car was stolen on Monday. However, police said the search for the other boy continued Tuesday evening.
Columbus police chief Elaine Bryant said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon that the missing baby was identified as Kason Thomass. Kason’s twin brother, Kyair, was found at the airport in Dayton early Tuesday morning.
Bryant said a homeless woman, whom he identified as 24-year-old Nalah Jackson, was the person handling the case.
“We beg you to return Kason,” Bryant said, addressing Jackson. “Right now all we care about is getting the baby. We want to make sure Kason is safe.”
Bryant said the incident came to light at around 9:45 p.m. on Monday, when Kyair and Kason were alone in the 2010 Honda Accord, when their mother stopped by a Donatos Pizza restaurant in the Italian Village section of northeast Columbus to pick up a Door Dash order.
Police said her mother’s car was stolen shortly after the mother entered her restaurant. When police turned to look at his car from inside the restaurant, they realized he was leaving with his twin babies.
Bryant said witnesses told police that Jackson was sitting in the restaurant when the mother walked in.
The car could not be located, and Bryant said it was unclear whether the suspect dumped the car or was still driving it.
An Amber Warning was issued by the State Highway Patrol at around 1:37pm on Tuesday. Police said the delay in issuing the warning was due to the absence of a license plate on the stolen vehicle the mother had recently purchased.
Bryant said at least 60 Columbus police officers were assigned to the case, and other law enforcement agencies assisted in the search for the boy. The chief said officers checked numerous residences around Columbus, where Jackson once lived, and frequently searched several homeless camps in Columbus, which is known for its use.
“We think this child is in danger,” said Columbus Deputy Chief Smith Weir, expressing concern for Kason’s health.
“It’s a cry for help,” Weir said. “We want the community to come forward and help us find this kid.”