Child abducted by car thief found safe after nearly 7 hours

Hours after someone drove away in a car with a toddler in the backseat, the suspect abandoned the car in a Clayton County neighborhood. The 17-month-old girl was found asleep in her car seat shortly before 7 a.m.

Now, Forest Park police are hoping the suspect left behind enough evidence to link him to the crime.

Shortly after midnight Wednesday, little Annyah Buchannon’s mother had just put her in her pink car seat outside the Playskool childcare center in the 800 block of Conley Road, according to police.

With Annyah inside the green Honda Accord, Victoria Buchannon went back inside the center to get an older child. That’s when a suspect got into the Honda and drove away, taking Annyah along and setting off a massive search for the toddler.

A Levi’s Call alert was posted for Annyah and Forest Park police released images of Buchannon’s Honda. On news reports, Buchannon pleaded for the person responsible to “keep the car and everything in it,” but to return her child or drop the toddler off somewhere safe.

Police were hopeful that someone would spot the Honda, and shortly before 7 a.m., someone did.

The missing car and girl were found near Scott Drive and Holly Circle in Clayton County.

Forest Park police Lt. Jason Armstrong said police got a call from a resident who “believed they had seen the car parked in the neighborhood.”

“We responded to the area, found the vehicle and the child was asleep inside the vehicle” Armstrong said.

Officers were unable to locate a suspect, but the car was examined for any clues, such as fingerprints, leading to the person responsible, Armstrong said.

Annyah was unarmed and reunited with her mother, who thanked everyone who assisted with the search for the toddler.

The incident remains under investigation.

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Staff writer Alexis Stevens contributed to this report.