KANSAS CITY, Mo. – FOX 4 caught up with Maria Arredondo and her children Friday afternoon outside their home near East 8th Street and Belmont. Arredondo was especially elated to have her 3-year-old son, Mauricio, clinging to her side safe and sound.
FOX 4′s Robert Townsend and Photojournalist Matthew Hensley were the first television news crew to talk to the relieved mom.
“He’s okay? Uh huh, yeah. You’re happy? Yeah, I”m happy,” said a smiling Maria Arredondo.
However, Tuesday night the Kansas City mom got a big scare.
It’s after a barefoot Mauricio was caught on tape by a neighbor’s surveillance camera walking all alone first down the sidewalk, then hopping around in the street near East 9th Street and Belmont.
Witnesses told police, within minutes, you see a woman bend over, pick up the child and walk off.
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“I saw a guy and he asked me if I lost a kid and i said yes.We were crying and scared, ” says Elva Arredondo, the toddler’s aunt.
Elva lives next door to the family. She says her sister thought Mauricio was next door to his cousin’s birthday party.
“We never dreamed that the child was not even hers,” says Teresa Swighert.
Swighert says an alert neighbor, many are now calling a ‘Good Samaritan,’ chased 34-year-old Ariella Scrivner, who was carrying the child away from his home.
“The man that had followed her, chased her down the road obviously kept telling her miss you can’t take that baby! You can’t take that baby and that’s when he asked us to call the police, so I did,” says Swighert.
Witnesses told police Scrivner, clutching the child, ran blocks away to a Family Dollar store, suddenly jumped into a stranger’s car, then hopped out with the boy and dashed inside a Mexican grocery store.
“She was yelling and screaming when she came in that people were after her. It just didn’t seem right,” says Michael Winter, a security guard who works at the store.
Winter quickly called police after taking Scrivner outside and handcuffing the kidapping suspect.
“I think it ended all well. I think everybody did their jobs correctly, ” says Winter.
As for Mauricio’s mother, her daughter says Arredondo thanks all of the people who saved her son.
“She says she’s very grateful especially to the Good Samaritan who ran after the woman. She also says she’s not going to let her kids go out walking no more because it’s unsafe, ” says Arredondo’s daughter.