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A Georgia infant has been returned to his mother after a man and a woman allegedly kidnapped him at gunpoint from a stroller over the weekend.
FBI Atlanta announced on Saturday that Mateo Alejandro Montufar-Barrera had been found safe and well and was reunited with his mother. The 1-year-old was taken while being walked in his stroller by his mother, authorities said Saturday; the mother fought back, tearing the kidnapper's clothes and taking his sneaker before he and a second suspect escaped with the child, according to authorities.
The mother, identified as Leslie Bamaca, told police that she was walking her son near Balfour Chamblee Apartments, where they live, when a male suspect jumped out of an Acura SUV and threatened her with a gun, the Chamblee Police Department told Oxygen.com. Police said that Bamaca managed to grab the gun and tried to shoot the man, but the gun did not go off; although she fought the assailant, a second suspect got out of the passenger's seat and grabbed the baby, and the pair took off.
The suspects were arrested in Carrollton, Georgia, hours after authorities issued an Amber Alert, and the kidnapped child was found inside of the car, CNN reports.
Kristen Nicole Valera-Zuniga and Maynor Dario Valera-Zuniga both face numerous charges, including kidnapping, WSB-TV reports. An alleged motive for the kidnapping has not been established, and the Bamaca's sister, Jessica, said that she doesn't know why her nephew was taken or who his kidnappers are. When police found the suspects in Carroll County, they'd dressed Mateo as a girl in an effort to hide him, she said.
“We have no idea who they are. It’s the first time we’ve seen them,” Jessica Bamaca told the station. “We don’t know where they came from. We don’t know what their intentions were.”
Although the child has since been reunited with his parents, Bamaca said that the five hours that he was missing were a "nightmare." Speaking to Fox 5 Atlanta, Bamaca said that the family is now just "grateful" that baby Mateo is safe.
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