A 4-month-old girl last seen in Cathedral City, allegedly abducted by her aunt, was located unharmed Saturday in a Beaumont motel room with the suspect’s friends, authorities said.
The child was reunited with her parents, said Officer Andrew Diaz of the Cathedral City Police Department.
The California Highway Patrol issued an Amber Alert on behalf of Cathedral City police at 4:16 a.m. Saturday for Ananaya Schoolcraft, who was last seen with her aunt, Julia Anne Schoolcraft, a parolee-at-large with an extensive criminal history, at approximately 11 p.m. Friday near Date Palm Drive and Adelina Road, authorities said.
“The father of the infant reported his sister stole his vehicle after he parked at a local gas station and entered the store to purchase milk,” Diaz said. “The suspect drove away in the vehicle with the infant in her car seat.”
Banning police officers located the stolen vehicle at 4:55 a.m. and arrested the 29-year-old Palm Springs resident, he said, adding that the infant was not inside the vehicle.
“Schoolcraft cooperated with officers and led them to where she dropped off the infant — a Motel 6 in Beaumont,” he said. “The infant was located in a motel room with friends of Schoolcraft, unharmed. The infant is now home with her parents.”
Schoolcraft was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, child endangerment, vehicle theft and felony warrants.
The Cathedral City Police Department urged anyone with information regarding the incident to call them at 760-770-0300.