A 1-year-old girl is now home safe with her family after she was taken away inside of a car that was being repossessed.
The incident happened Wednesday morning in East Orange. The parents tell News 12 New Jersey that the father had left baby Hannah in her car seat for a few seconds while he ran upstairs to grab her bottle. But when he came back downstairs, the car was gone – with the baby inside.
“He thought it was stolen. He thought it was someone kidnapping my child,” says mother Noel Saldana.
The family called 911 and the baby was found about 40 minutes later safe inside of a tow lot. She was taken to the hospital to be checked out as a precaution but was unharmed.
“I pulled over and said a prayer and an officer called me and said, ‘Go to University Hospital. She’s there,” Saldana says.
Saldana brought the baby home by the afternoon. She says that she will never leave her children alone in a car again.
“Hindsight is always usually 20/20 and we know now that that is not the correct thing to do as parents or for anyone caring for children,” she says. “It happened, unfortunately. I’m not excusing it, I’m owning it happened. One minute could be one minute too long, God forbid. But thankfully that wasn’t the case. She’s good, she’s fine.”
Saldana says that she was planning on cashing a check to make her car payment today, but the car was repossessed before she had the chance.
She says that she does not blame the repo company, but she hopes that drivers check the back seats of any cars they take in the future. She also warns other parents to learn from her mistake to never leave a child alone in a car.