BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — A suspect is facing kidnapping and theft of property charges after a 19-month-old girl was taken along with a vehicle from a Bessemer gas station Wednesday evening.
The suspect is identified as Jimmy Lee Wells of Bessemer. The stolen vehicle was located early Thursday morning in Alabaster with 19-month-old Moriah Rudolph safe inside.
According to Bessemer police, the incident began around 8 p.m. Wednesday night when officers responded to the service station to find that a car with a child sleeping inside had been taken. The mother told officers she left her car running while her 19-month-old daughter Moriah Rudolph was sleeping in the backseat. As she left the store, she saw a black man without a shirt on jump into her car and drive away. She ran to the vehicle, but couldn’t stop him.
Detectives requested an AMBER Alert be issued for the child’s abduction, but ALEA issued an emergency missing child alert instead.
Early Thursday morning around 4 a.m., Bessemer police were told by Alabaster PD they had found the child in the car near an apartment complex in their city. paramedics were called and took the little girl to the hospital for an evaluation,
Around 4:30 a.m., Alabaster police said they had found Wells on the porch of a nearby residence after receiving a tip from an anonymous caller. Bessemer police responded and arrested Wells there. He was formally charged with kidnapping in the first and theft of property in the first Thursday afternoon and booked into the Bessemer City Jail. His bond totals $200,000 for both charges. He is now awaiting transfer to the county jail.
Shermica Hawkins said she is cousin’s with the mother of the 19 month old baby.
“I am so happy she is home, she is unharmed, her mom is happy and overjoyed,” said Hawkins.