SOLEDAD (CBS SF) – Authorities confirmed that a 2-year-old boy from Soledad who was abducted Thursday morning when his parents’ car was stolen from outside the family home has been found safe.
California Highway Patrol Officer Oscar Loza said the stolen car and 2-year-old Jacob Jesus Vargas were found hidden inside a barn on River Road south of Salinas.
Loza said a male called 911 and tipped authorities to where the car and young boy were located. Monterey County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the location and the male led them to a barn where they locate the vehicle and Jacob.
“The child was inside the car. They broke a window to gain access to the child,” said Soledad Police Chief Eric Sills. “The child was alive and breathing and being checked out by medical personnel.”
An ambulance was sent to the scene and Jacob was taken to an area hospital to be examined. There he was reunited with his family.
Authorities said the vehicle was abandoned and there were no suspects in custody.
For more than six agonizing hours, no one — not his parents nor the police — knew where little Jacob.
“My concern was, what if something bad happens to him?” said his father, Jesus Vargas, Jr. “I was just thinking the worst. But I had to stay strong and hope for the best.”
An Amber Alert was issued shortly before 7 a.m. The boy was in his parents’ car as it warmed up at a home on the 100 block of Head Street. The boy’s father ran back into the home and the idling car was stolen.
“I was parked in front of the house, right in front of my driveway, when I ran back to lock the door,” said the boy’s father. “And in a split second, someone stole the car.”
Concerns were heighten because Jason has asthma and needs to take medication by 4 p.m.
The Amber Alert went into effect for the following counties: Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito, San Luis Obispo and Santa Clara.
Investigators said Jacob’s parents were questioned and cooperative. The crime appears to be random.
“I think it’s consistent with what we first thought; this person was an opportunist,” said Sills. “They saw a running car, hopped in and lo and behold there’s a baby in here.”