FRAYSER, Tenn. (WATN) – A Memphis father is charged after his car was stolen with his two-year-old son inside.
Police eventually found the boy, Tkky’ree Mitchell, unharmed in South Memphis, nine miles from where the car was stolen in Frayser.
Donald Thomas, 32, now faces a child endangerment and neglect charge.
“I was hysteric, I was in freeze mode,” Cassandra Barnes, the boy’s mother, said.
Barnes collected herself Monday afternoon after a terrifying start to her day.
Police said Barnes’ son’s father left the two-year-old inside his car late Sunday night when he went into a Frayser gas station.
While inside the store, someone stole the car and drove off with the boy in the back seat.
“I just couldn’t imagine what he was going through sitting in that vehicle, I just don’t know, excuse me, thinking about that baby,” Sherry Kimbro said.
Ninety minutes after police reported the car stolen, Kimbro and her next door neighbor spotted it sitting idly and called 911.
“The police opened the door and there was a two-year-old in the car,” she said.
With officers on scene, Kimbro gave the child juice until his mother arrived and embraced her boy.
“He was scared until he saw his mother, then he started smiling,” Kimbro said.
The boy’s mother is beyond appreciative of Kimbro’s compassion and care.
“I thank God, you know, they showed up and the way she showed up,” Barnes said.
Thomas, the boy’s father, has a lengthy rap sheet dating back more than a decade. He will appear in court Wednesday for his latest charge.
Tennessee is one of 19 states where it’s illegal to leave a child unattended in a car in a public place.