Authorities in Ohio are in a race against the clock to rescue a 5-month-old baby who’s been missing for nearly three days after he and his twin brother were abducted late Monday.
Kyair and Kason Thomas were in a vehicle their mother was using to make DoorDash deliveries when the car was stolen after she ran inside a pizza restaurant. Kyair was found the next morning abandoned in a carseat in the bitter cold in a Dayton International Airport parking lot, but Kason remains unaccounted for.
The fact that the alleged abductor returned one baby but kept the other has alarmed police.
“That’s a troubling aspect of this case. [I’m] perplexed as to why that may be,” Columbus Deputy Chief Smith Weir said earlier this week.
The desperate search for Kason—which now involves the FBI and five surrounding states—is running in tandem with a manhunt for police’s prime suspect in the abduction, identified as 24-year-old Nalah Jackson.
Police announced kidnapping charges against her on Wednesday.
“You can return him to any safe location. Fire department, hospital, shopping center, any public place where someone will find the baby. We are begging you. Please return Kason,” Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant pleaded at a Wednesday press conference.
The twins’ mother, Wilhelmina Barnett, has also publicly pleaded with the suspect to return her son.
“I’m not mad at you, I know you got problems and are mentally ill,” Barnett said Wednesday, according to The Columbus Dispatch. “Bring him home. I just want my baby.”
While most other families are busy doing last-minute Christmas shopping ahead of the holiday this weekend, Barnett and other family members are conducting their own search for Kason as a dangerous winter storm moves in.
The babies’ father, Lachez Thomas, told the Dispatch he and other family members had been scouring shopping centers and neighborhoods in Dayton in the hopes of finding Kason.
“It’s indescribable—there’s no words for this,” he said.