A child was found safe after reportedly being inside a car that was stolen in Great Falls on Monday.
The Great Falls Police Department issued the following community alert at 11:59 a.m.:
COMMUNITY ALERT - Missing Child! We are looking for a black Chevrolet Malibu bearing Montana license plate BZA-414. The vehicle was stolen with a one year old child inside. Please immediately CALL 911 IF YOU SEE THIS VEHICLE. The attached photo is not the actual vehicle, but an image of a similar one.
At 12:17 p.m., the GFPD reported that the child has been found and is safe, and that officers were still looking for the vehicle.
The child was found at the Best Western Heritage Inn, according to several witnesses, and several patrol cars and officers were at the scene a short time later.
Carlena Kee, who works at the hotel, told KRTV that a housekeeper "found the child sitting in a chair by our work office and another housekeeper took him down to the front desk; that is when they proceeded to look for the child’s parent(s) or who he belonged to; after that, the cops were called."
We do not yet know the circumstances of the theft, such as whether the driver of the car was forced out by the suspect, or if the child had been left unattended.
The GFPD has declined to release any other information at this point, but said that more details will be released later on Monday.
We will update you as we get more information.
(UPDATE, 2:47 p.m.) The GFPD says that the child was sleeping in a car seat in the vehicle at the time it was stolen.
The mother had left the car running while she was downtown. We do not yet know if the mother will face any charges.
The car still has not been found.