5-year-old kidnapped in front of mother, suspect arrested

Posted at 11:09 AM, Jan 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-10 22:18:28-05

A 5-year-old is now safe after police said a stranger tried to kidnap her while she was playing in her yard in front of her mother on Tuesday night. 

Around 4:30 p.m., 36-year-old Latonya Monique Kelsey was walking in the 2900 block of Morrow Ave. when police said she saw a group of children who were playing in the yard and being watched by their mother. 

The children's mother told police she saw Kelsey acting strange and called her children back into the house. 

Police said Kelsey then grabbed the 5-year-old and started running with her.

The child's mother immediately chased the suspect and child while yelling for the 5-year-old to fight the suspect. Police said this caused Kelsey to drop the girl and flee.

"I was just like where is she going with my baby. I was telling her to put her down and she wouldn't put her down, she just kept running so I told my daughter to start hitting her," said Misty Buhl the child's mother. 

Another family member followed the suspect until officers arrived. 

Police said they do not know why Kelsey grabbed the child, but they said she is known to have mental health issues.

The mother of the child asked Kelsey why she wanted to kidnap her daughter. 

"She said that my daughter was her daughter and she was taking her to school is what she said. That's what she told me after we got her and caught her, but we don't know her so there's not really a motive besides the illness that the police say she has," said Buhl. 

Kelsey is charged with kidnapping and traffic warrants.

The child was not hurt in the incident. 

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