BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Just before dusk Saturday, the unthinkable happened. A black SUV was stolen with a 7-month-old still inside.
"We thought it was a hoax," said witness Musa Rahman.
The Baton Rouge Police Department immediately began the hunt for the truck and the suspect.
"This is a perfect example of how things can go so wrong so quickly," said Rahman.
Officer Sondra Hall was among the officers to get the call for help.
"Oh, my gosh and then let's find this child. You know, forget about the materials things. Forget about the car," said Officer Hall.
Supervisors told Officer Hall to focus on the Delmont Village parking lot in north Baton Rouge.
"At that point forget about the suspect, not that that's not a goal of ours but that 7-month-old child's life, that's our priority. Finding that child unharmed and okay. That was the goal,"
she said.That's when Hall said she was "scanning through the parking lot" and spotted it, a black vehicle that fit the description.
"There's a lot of different things going on in your head. You definitely think worst case scenario but you also try to think best case scenario too," said Hall.
As an aunt, Officer Hall said approaching the truck, not knowing what lied ahead was hard. "Seconds probably felt like hours."
The little girl was safe, sitting quietly in her car seat. "The child was surprisingly sleeping. Having this child come out, unscathed, unharmed. That was a great victory for us yesterday, no question," said Officer Hall.
Hall said not long after recovering the 7-month-old, she was reunited with her mother. "She just broke down and cried. She squeezed that child harder than I think I've seen someone squeeze a child before. I know she was extremely relieved that we were able to bring that child back to her."
After two years with BRPD, Hall said taking care of the community is part of her job, but making a difference like this is what law enforcement is all about.
"Anytime someone calls I mean, that's what we're there for. The citizens calling for us, for help, that's our main priory. To get in there take care of people, whatever we need to do."?