After about 10 hours, detectives located the two-year-old six miles away, still inside the SUV, unharmed.
Residents say they’re grateful, but shocked to know the toddler was just that close.
Nevaeh Richardson went missing just before midnight Tuesday after her mother, Precious Hart, stopped at a house on Nashville Road.
Rocky Mount police say Hart left her daughter in the running SUV and went inside for a minute, which was just enough time for a man to jump into her 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor and take off with Richardson inside.
The nationwide alert brought in officers from all over the area. Sharpsburg police in Wilson County noticed a similar vehicle parked in a vacant lot with the windows rolled down.
That’s when they realized the toddler was still inside.
“To actually see the girl still alive is surprising,” says Joseph Simmons who noticed that SUV about an hour before police, but at first didn’t realize it was the one they were looking for in the Amber Alert.
“I just happened to look over there, which I assumed it was my neighbor truck, which looks similar to it, and then I went on to work,” he tells WITN.
When police arrived and surround that vehicle, he was in disbelief.
“I saw them take the little girl out the back seat, she wasn’t crying or hysterical or anything like that,” Simmons says.
Police say she was unharmed, but they searched the area for a potential suspect.
Others are just thankful this had an happy ending.
“I was very happy that the baby was found and that the baby was safe,” says Cheryl O’Neal who lives close to where the girl was found.
Police say they received numerous tips after the story hit social media and WITN’s airwaves and they hope they can get the same type of tips in locating the suspect.
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