TODAY'S TMJ4 Exclusive
Mother helps thwart abduction attempt on north side
Cody Holyoke reports Video by tmj4.comvideo
MILWAUKEE- In the course of less than an hour, a Milwaukee mom went through hell and back, losing -- then recovering -- her four year old girl and the woman who tried to take her.
Paula and her four year old daughter, Charity, are still in a state of shock.
"I'm okay now. I was just a wreck. I can smile now because I can see my baby and I have my baby."
Paula went to pick Charity up at Starms Early Childhood Center Thursday afternoon. She wasn't alone. While mom sat in the office, the 33-year-old stranger approached the girl just a few feet away.
Charity tells TODAY'S TMJ4's Cody Holyoke the woman claimed to have her mom's permission.
"She was about to give me something to eat, and then she was about to go to somebody's house," the little girl explained.
As the woman whisked Charity away from the school, the girl's mother and an educational assistant gave chase. The pair split up, canvassing the neighborhood.
Moments later, Paula finally found her daughter and the woman in a Family Dollar parking lot. It appeared as if the stranger took the girl shopping inside.
"She kept saying it was her baby, and she must have really thought it was her baby. So I grabbed my baby and I put her in the car," Paula explained.
Officers soon arrived after a school employee chased the woman down. Surprised she would face criminal charges, the suspect called for TODAY'S TMJ4's Cody Holyoke to come over to the squad car.
"You can take a picture of me, I did nothing wrong," she told him.
Reunited and ready to move on, mom and daughter are thankful this story ended the way it did. She hopes parents will play it safe from now on.
"I would say, just really try to be watchful and watch for the other kids that's at school," Paula advised.