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Infant Safe, Dad Arrested After Avalon Park Kidnapping

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A 4-month-old girl who was kidnapped at gunpoint from the Avalon Park neighborhood has been found safe, and her father is in custody.

CBS 2′s Susanna Song reports the girl, identified by her family as Amaris Lawson, and her parents went to her grandfather’s house Sunday night. Her father got into a fight, and Amaris’ grandfather kicked his son out.

However, early Monday morning, Amaris’ father showed up again, armed with a gun, and kicked in the door, her grandfather said.

Amaris’ grandfather said his 22-year-old son pointed the gun at him and pulled the trigger, but the gun jammed. He then grabbed Amaris and fled the scene.

A neighbor heard the commotion and called 911.

“I heard banging, and got up for a second to see what was going on,” Vanlisa Evans said. “Called the police, because I thought maybe it was a domestic dispute, because I heard a woman screaming.”

By the time police arrived, Amaris’ father was gone with his daughter. Police began searching for the two of them around 3:30 a.m. Monday.

Around 8:45 a.m., Monica Williams, a family friend, called Amaris’ mother, and said Amaris’ father was knocking at her door in the 8000 block of South Woodlawn Avenue and had Amaris with him.

“I said what happened? He said ‘I got the baby,’ and I said ‘Hold on.’ I wasn’t going to let him in, because I’d heard on the news that he had a gun,” she said. “I went and I called his father, and his father and his mother told me to call the police.”

Williams said she was in fear for her own life, but didn’t want him to leave with the baby, because she didn’t know his mental state.

She kept Amaris’ father talking until police arrived and arrested him.

After taking her father into custody, officers wrapped Amaris in a blanket. She appeared to be in good condition as an officer held her in his arms until paramedics arrived, and took her to Comer Children’s Hospital to be evaluated. Her mother arrived just after the ambulance left, but was overjoyed to hear her daughter was safe.

“Oh my God, I’m so happy,” she said.

Police have not said anything about what kind of custody arrangements there might have been involving Amaris and her parents.