Police look for suspect after missing baby found

Police still searching for suspect
November 29, 2008 2:54:53 PM PST
Police canceled an Amber Alert for a missing baby boy after he was found Friday evening.It may have been an accidental abduction, as the child was in a van that was stolen on Chicago's Northwest Side.

Seven-month-old Osiel Hernandez was found in Skokie Friday evening. He had been missing since 3:30 a.m. Friday.

The incident occurred in the 4200-block of West Bryn Mawr in Chicago. The mother of Osiel Hernandez had briefly left the infant in the back seat of a light green, 2003 Dodge Caravan and left the vehicle running. She was beginning her work day at a newspaper distribution center.

Witnesses say a clean-shaven Hispanic man, 25-35 years old, jumped in the car and took off with the child still inside.

"We had an Amber Alert out by 9 a.m. We had notified all the other police departments in the area, all the districts [were] doing grid searches up and down streets looking for the van," Chicago Police Cmdr. Mike Mealer told ABC7 Chicago.

Then, just before 5 p.m., police got the call that the van had been found in Skokie, and the baby was inside.

A plumber doing work in the 5200 block of W. Madison Street in Skokie found the baby. The van was only a few blocks from the Skokie Police Dept.

"I heard the crying. [I] let the lady know because I thought it was hers. She said, 'No, that vehicle has been out there since 8 o'clock this morning,'" said Vince Hernandez

Police and paramedics were on the scene immediately, and the baby was put in an ambulance and taken to the hospital.

"We received a phone call at 4:45 [p.m.] today that a child was left unattended in a vehicle in the 5200 block of Madison Street, a few blocks away from police headquarters in Skokie. When the officers arrived, they discovered a child in the vehicle. We discovered quickly that it was related to the Chicago Amber Alert. We forced entry into the car, and the child was alive, but we wanted him transported to a medical center for evaluation," said Cmdr. Michael Ruth of the Skokie Police Department. "The information that we were receiving from witnesses, the car had been there about eight to 10 hours."

Before police were notified of the missing child Friday morning, officers say they stopped the van in question, just before 4 a.m. for an unspecified violation. Before officers could question the man, they say they got a call about a shooting nearby and let the man go. It was only after the Amber Alert was issued that the officers who made the stop realized they had pulled over the suspect.

"We don't have any leads," said Mealer. "But the investigation will continue."

Police say the suspect the are looking for is a white male, Hispanic, 35-40 years old, clean shaven, 5 ft., 5 inches to 5 ft., 7 inches tall, 150 to 170 lbs. He was seen wearing a beige or a brown outer garment with a fur lining or fur collar around his neck.

The baby boy was reportedly doing fine and back at home Friday night.


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