Authorities are searching for the person they say stole an SUV with two children inside from a gas station Wednesday before abandoning them in below freezing temperatures on major roadways.
One-month-old Ava Wilmer and 4-year-old Arya Davenport were found miles apart after mother Precious Wilmer’s 2009 Chevy Equinox was stolen about 5 p.m. from a QuikTrip on Riverdale Road, Clayton County police Sgt. Ashanti Marbury said.
Precious Wilmer left the girls in the car with the engine running near a gas pump while she went inside the convenience store, Marbury said.
She came out of the store and saw her car being driven away with her children in the back seat.
Shortly into the search, Georgia State University police Chief Joseph Spillane found Arya walking down the shoulder of a roadway near I-285 and Riverdale Road, Clayton County polcie said.
After roughly two hours, baby Ava was found in the middle of South Fulton Parkway still strapped in her car seat.
Marbury said a Channel 2 Action News photojournalist Brian Ferguson led police to the baby after he saw an objecting sitting in the road on his way to cover the scene.
The girls appeared to be OK, but were taken to Southern Regional Medical Center as a precaution. Metro Atlanta temperatures were in the 20s, but with winds reaching 20 mph, it felt like they were in the single digits, Channel 2 reported.
Atlanta police later located Precious Wilmer’s stolen SUV on Metropolitan Parkway.
No desctiption of the suspect has been released.
In other news:
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.