Infant Morgan Hill resident Mariana Corona was found in
condition less than four hours after a statewide Amber Alert
broadcast her abduction Tuesday, police said. Full article
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One-month-old Morgan Hill resident Mariana Corona was found in “healthy” condition less than four hours after a statewide Amber Alert broadcast her abduction Tuesday, police said.
The child was found safe in her parent’s abandoned stolen vehicle at Toro Park in Salinas at 5:30 p.m, Capt. Joe Sampson said. She was in the rear of the car, crying when a passerby noticed her and called the California Highway Patrol. She was taken to a local hospital where she was checked out then reunited with her parents.
The Amber Alert was issued by Morgan Hill police about 2 p.m., shortly after her mother reported the abduction in an apparent car theft, Police Chief David Swing said.
The alert notified residents and motorists to be on the lookout for the white Infiniti Q45 sedan in which Corona was last seen.
The incident happened when Maribel Corona, 24, drove to the food bank at St. Catherine Parish to pick up groceries, Sampson said. The child’s mother went inside and left the car parked with the keys and child in the vehicle.
The child’s mother was inside the food bank and away from the car for about five minutes.
Police called the incident a “crime of opportunity,” and do not think the car thief or thieves knew the child or her family, or intended any foul play toward the girl, Sampson said.
Corona’s parents, plus more than a dozen of the child’s aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives gathered at City Hall, the designated incident command center, to wait for news and comfort each other.
After hearing the news that Corona had been found and was safe, her relatives began shedding tears of joy rather than fright. They said they were “relieved” that the infant was found. The family lives in Morgan Hill, near Ciolino Avenue.
“We drove to Hollister to look for her” earlier in the afternoon, Corona’s cousin Gaby Cortez, 16, said outside city hall about 5:30 p.m.
St. Catherine parishioners at the church Tuesday said they have heard of vehicles being vandalized and broken into in the parking lot, even during worship service.
Lupe Rodriguez, 72, receives food from the food bank outside of which Mariana Corona is thought to have been abducted. He said he has never had any problems there, but has noticed homeless people and other food bank clients “hanging out” there.
“People are crazy nowadays. A poor woman coming to get some help for her kids and something happens … ” Rodriguez said.
The case is under investigation through a joint effort of the Morgan Hill Police Department and the FBI. Anyone with information can call Detective Carlos Guerrero at (408) 779-2101 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 947–STOP (7867).
Check back for updates for this story.
View Amber Alert issued in a larger map