PARK RIDGE, Ill. (CBS) — Police in north suburban Park Ridge have a “person of interest” in custody for the abduction of a 5-year-old boy who was sleeping in his parents’ car when it was stolen on Thursday.
Drake Whitker was found safe in nearby Skokie, about two hours after a man stole the car outside of a home in the 1700 block of Good Avenue in Park Ridge on Thursday afternoon, as Drake’s mother was taking groceries inside. She saw the suspect making off with the vehicle and tried to prevent it, police said.
A Good Samaritan called police after he spotted the car in an alley near his house, and saw Drake inside. A short time later, Drake was reunited with his parents.
Park Ridge police had questioned a number of people about the abduction Thursday night and Friday morning. Late Friday morning, police confirmed a “person of interest” was in custody as of 11 a.m.
The man who found Drake said he had heard about an AMBER Alert that had been issued for the missing boy on WBBM Newsradio as he was coming back from the mall, when he came across the vehicle in the alley. The boy got out and approached him.
“I said why don’t you come over here and sit in my car, and I called 911. I said your mommy’s going to be very happy to see you,” the man said.
Drake was reunited with his family at the Skokie Police Station a short time later, and was in good spirits.
“The important thing was to get mom and the child reconnected. Immediately, when we found out, we put them in touch with each other with cell phones. They began talking with each other,” Park Ridge Police Chief Frank Kaminski told reporters.
Kaminski said Thursday he would ask prosecutors to press “all possible charges” against the suspect, if caught, beginning with auto theft and kidnapping.