Person who stole SUV with child told her he was a 'friend' - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Person who stole SUV with child told her he was a 'friend'

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KENNER, La. - Rosinda Equigure and her husband left their SUV running in the driveway of their Kenner home Thursday night with their 5-year-old daughter, Emma, in the backseat.

The couple had taken their other daughter, a 22-month-old, upstairs.

"I'm coming like to the middle of the house, and my husband is upstairs with the baby. He said, 'I'm leaving,' but when he came down, the car was gone," Equigure said.

Someone stole the couple's Nissan Pathfinder with their little girl still inside.

"My husband was distraught, and he's like, 'my Emma, my Emma!' I just looked and him and I was frozen," Equigure said.

"We had a description of the vehicle. We didn't have a description of the suspect because nobody saw who took the car," said Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway.

Family and friends became frantic looking for Emma, and some of them gathered at her grandmother's house. Then, they said, they saw Emma walking down the street.

"As she was getting closer, he realized it was her. She was very calm and just looking around. He said, 'Emma' and she said 'it's me' and she wrapped her arms around him and started to cry," said Equigure.

Emma was safe and unharmed, police said.

Ironically, Emma's grandmother lived just minutes away from where the SUV was stolen.

"The vehicle was actually registered to the grandmother," Caraway said. "We don't know if the person who had taken the car realized there was even a child in the car or not and dropped her off there. The vehicle was actually found sometime later just a block or two away."

Police believe the suspect got the grandmother's address from the registration papers. They say once he dumped the vehicle, the suspect may have even walked Emma a few blocks before turning her loose.

Emma's mom said her little girl remained calm the whole time.

"When she realized, she said, ‘excuse me' and she gave him her name and he said, 'I'm just a friend.' She said she knew that wasn't a friend," Equigure said.

Rosinda said Emma told her the man said she'd be ok and he would get her back home.

"She said, 'God protected me,' and that's all I can say is God was with her," Equigure said.

Police are still searching for the suspect in this case. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

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