Kidnapped infant dies after suspect drives into house, authorities say

Police say a man abducted a 7-month-old baby from North Baltimore and drove full-speed into a house in Tiffin when police tried to stop him.
Published: Jun. 28, 2023 at 1:19 AM CDT
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TIFFIN, Ohio (WTVG/Gray News) - Authorities in Ohio say a 7-month-old baby girl died after a man allegedly abducted her then drove into a house at full speed while law enforcement chased him.

Authorities have not filed charges at this point but are investigating the case as a homicide.

According to the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office, a 23-year-old armed man abducted a 7-month-old baby girl Tuesday in North Baltimore and said he felt homicidal and suicidal. Authorities say he claimed to have killed the baby, WTVG reports.

Police confirmed Wednesday the suspect was in a relationship with the baby’s mother. They were not able to confirm whether the man is the baby’s father.

Audio from a 911 call includes a moment where the suspect had called the baby’s mother while he was on the run.

“Anything you’d like to say to me before I say my goodbyes?” the suspect asked.

The mother is heard pleading for her boyfriend to bring her baby back. She was tracking the suspect’s location through her phone, which eventually helped authorities find him.

The Wood County Sheriff’s Office told Seneca County deputies that the suspect was driving a yellow Camaro and headed for Tiffin. An off-duty officer in Tiffin spotted the car and alerted authorities of its location near Cottage Avenue and Ella Street.

When a Tiffin Police officer came up behind the car, the suspect allegedly accelerated at a high speed and “erratically” drove off the road, hitting a house at full speed.

Authorities surrounded the car and broke the back window to get the baby out. Police say the 7-month-old was bleeding and had shallow breathing. She was taken to the hospital, where she died from her injuries, according to Tiffin Police.

The suspect was also extricated from the car and taken to the hospital for treatment. He is in critical condition.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of this innocent baby and to the deputies, officers and EMS that were involved in the lifesaving attempt for this infant. No one should have to deal with tragedy like this, but unfortunately, they did today,” said Seneca County Sheriff Fredrick W. Stevens in a statement.

The statement says a loaded weapon with at least one spent cartridge was found in the car.

Police had an indication the suspect may have been armed because his location showed he had been at a firearms store in Findlay earlier in the day.