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ALPR Success Story: Kidnapping Case Ends With Two Suspects in Custody

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The latest case in our success story series starts off at gunpoint and ends, thankfully, with an unharmed baby boy back home and safe. Take a look.

The story

In an Atlanta area neighborhood, a mother was walking her 1-year-old son in a stroller when a man pointed a gun at her and a second suspect grabbed the baby.

According to news sources, the mother put up a fight in what authorities described as an extremely rare random kidnapping. She was able to grab a piece of one of the suspect's shorts and his left shoe, but the two people took off in their SUV with her son. 

The LPR alert

Fortunately, it wasn't long before one of our license plate readers alerted state troopers to the suspects' whereabouts: about 60 miles away from the scene of the abduction in Carroll County.

They pulled over the suspects' vehicle and found the baby unharmed. 

The arrest

As it turns out, the suspects—identified as Maynor Dario Valera-Zuniga and Kristin Nicole Valera-Zuniga—intended to raise the baby as their own, and had even attempted to abduct another child earlier that day.

Maynor Dario Valera-Zuniga was charged with aggravated assault and battery, and both were charged with kidnapping.

In an article by the Associated Press, Chris Hacker, special agent in charge of the FBI's Atlanta field office, is quoted as saying: “I’ve been in law enforcement for 25 years and this is the first time I’ve been involved in a case like this and that shows you how rare a case like this is."

Media coverage:

For more on this story, visit: 

U.S. News & World Report: Police Identify Pair Accused of Kidnapping Child in Georgia

WSB-TV Atlanta: ‘Back in our arms:’ Aunt gives harrowing account of moments police say 1-year-old was kidnapped