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Baby taken in stolen car found shivering in cold 20 miles away in Houston

Posted at 6:03 AM, Jan 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-13 07:05:47-05

HOUSTON (KTRK) — A 16-month-old is safe after a car was stolen with him in the back seat from a gas station in northeast Harris County.

Deputies say that around midnight, a mother and her boyfriend left their Chrysler 300 running in the parking lot while they were inside the store playing games.

When they came out to check on the child, the car was missing. Their 16-month-old was sitting in a car seat in the back seat of the vehicle.

During the search for the stolen car, a park ranger was closing up MacGregor Park on Calhoun Road around 12:25 a.m.

He locked all the gates, and the park was empty, except for a homeless person, whom he told to leave.

As the park ranger moved closer to one of the gates, he saw what he thought was an animal walking through the parking lot. It turns out it was the missing 16-month-old shivering in his onesie.

Houston police responded and took the child to Texas Children's Hospital as a precaution.

Around 1 a.m., police found the couple's stolen car on the 610 Loop, where the suspects inside led officers on a chase.

The car finally stopped off T.C. Jester and the North Loop. Two suspects, believed to be 18 or 19 years old, were taken into custody and questioned.

"It's pretty chilly out here and a lot of wild animals running around out there. Things could've ended very differently had the park ranger not come by here and located the baby," said Kerry Clopton with HFD.

The suspect who was driving was charged with kidnapping, auto theft and felony evading. The suspect in the passenger seat was charged with auto theft and kidnapping.

The mother and her boyfriend were charged with child endangerment.