Surveillance video and 911 calls capture the chaos after a car was stolen in Wolcott Sunday night with two children inside.
The 11-year-old boy was able to escape, but the 5-year-old was found two hours later in the abandoned car.
“Wolcott 911, what is the location of your emergency?” asks a dispatcher.
“I’m at Cumberland Farms. I’m walking. I need my baby! Can someone get my baby?,” screamed Desarea Morris.
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“Yes we’re heading out there now,” said the dispatcher.
Desarea Morris told NBC Connecticut she ran inside the Cumberland Farms in Wolcott quickly around 11:30 p.m. to get some pain relievers for her injured son and a gift card she forgot to buy for his teacher, when her running car was stolen.
In the surveillance video, you can see a car pull up next to Morris’. A passenger jumps out, gets in Morris’ driver seat and takes off, hitting a parked car as they speed off.
In the video, you see Morris’ son jump out of the car and then chase it down the road with his baby sister inside.
“But with his ankle being broke. I didn’t think. I just left him in there. I said, ‘lock the door,’ because he said he was cold, so I said, ‘Lock the door,’ and she was sleeping,” said Morris, who was still very shaken up Monday afternoon.
“Yes, he has a fractured ankle from football and he was running with the cast. You can watch it. And he says mamma they turned at the light. They turned that way,” said his grandmother Heather Morris.
The family says they’re thankful for the Wolcott and Waterbury police officers who responded and all those who prayed for the girl's safety.
Wolcott’s Police chief found the 5-year-old still sleeping inside the car about two miles away more than two hours after it was stolen.
“Being a grandparent myself, I have a grandson who is four, another one who is nine, we were not going home tonight until that child was found,” said Chief Edward Stephens.
The story has gained a lot of reaction on social media, many commenting they were happy the child was found safe and sound and others say they’re upset with the mother.
But Morris says she hopes people know how much her kids mean to her.
“They’re saying I’m not a good mom, my kids mean everything to me. He needed Tylenol.”
“Any single mother has done that before, nobody can criticize me. But I learned from my mistakes I will never, ever, ever leave my keys in the car," she added.
“You put it right in front of the window, right in front. You just ran in real quick. You never expect this. Instead of persecuting her. Let’s persecute the real ones, where are they,” said her mother Heather.
Wolcott Police said the car used to drop off the driver was found in Southbury.
They’re processing fingerprints and continue to look for suspects, who will be charged with more than just stealing a car, but two counts of kidnapping and risk of injury to a minor as well.
In a statement, Cumberland Farms says, “We are grateful that the Wolcott Police Department responded as quickly as they did, and we are relieved to learn that the child was found safe. Anyone who may know anything about the incident or has any information should contact the police as soon as possible.”