Police: Gonzales woman arrested for attempted kidnapping at Walmart parking lot

The Gonzales Police Department arrested a woman on June 15, 2018, in connection with an attempted kidnapping at a Walmart.

Police said that Luzmaria DeMaher, 58, suffering from a mental disorder, approached another woman outside of a Walmart in Gonzales. Police said DeMaher made nasty comments about the woman's parenting.

It's a bone-chilling encounter this Napoleonville woman says she'll never forget.

"She opened my car door and was like, let me take your kids," Kristen McDaniel explained.

Those five words will forever be etched in McDaniels mind. "I really thought this woman was either going to pull out a gun or I thought she was going to or literally try to take my kids," she said.

Just after the mother buckled her children in and loaded her car in the parking lot with supplies for her daughter, Kayleigh's 4th birthday party, Kristen was approached by a woman.

"She started by saying that my kids were cute," she said.

But this seemingly casual conversation quickly took a scary turn. "She was like I'm going to take your kids. I said no, you're not. she was like, yeah let's load up their car seats and put them in your car and I said no, you're not."

The woman did not know DeMaher, and during this outburst, DeMaher tried to unbuckle the children from their car seats and take them from the mother, police said.

"My adrenaline was jittery," McDaniel said. "I was shaking but I did not let this woman know I was terrified." "I was trying to keep an eye on her and it was trying to keep an eye on my children at the same time because I did not know what this woman was capable of doing."

Police were called, the children were not taken, and no one was harmed.

Police said DeMaher was arrested.

McDaniel says she's moving on from the nightmare, and she hopes others take it as a lesson to always be mindful of their surroundings.

"If they don't' think it's never going to happen to them, they're wrong because it can happen to them," McDaniel says. "It just makes me as a mother of three not want to go out by myself, not go grocery shopping alone but at the same time, it's like you have to do what you have to do. I'm very blessed."

Since that arrest, a number of social media posts have been made that are alarming some residents, according to the Gonzales Police Department.

Police said that although the incident appears to be an isolated one, authorities want citizens to be vigilant of their surroundings.

Authorities said many social media posts have now been made alerting residents to a kidnapping ring or asking parents to be vigilant. They added that these posts do not help the residents of our community, but, rather, unnecessarily alarm them.

Police confirm that there is no kidnapping ring in that area, and there is no need for panic.

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