UVALDE — A 10-year-old boy who was kidnapped in Uvalde was found safe at a home in Jourdanton this week.
Uvalde Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez said that on July 10, the boy was at his grandmother's home with his 11-year-old friend who was staying the night. Police responded to the home around 10 p.m. after the grandmother reported that her car, her grandson, and the boy's friend were gone.
"Our officers and other local agencies searched the area in the city, hotels, parks, to no avail,” Chief Rodriguez said.
The police chief noted that about 15 hours had passed and they were getting ready to send out an Amber Alert when they got a break in the case. An anonymous tip led them to Erica Jean Gerdes, the mother of the boy's friend.
Police said that she drove from the home on West Leona street to the 4200 block of FM 2146 in Jourdanton. Police were able to reunite the boy with his mother at the police station.
"It’s like a hundred pounds lifted off your shoulders. We were already 15 or 16 hours into it. You kind of start to think, ‘Are we going to be able to locate the child? If we do, is the child going to be okay?’ So that was running through our minds," Chief Rodriguez recalled.
Police say that they are still investigating Gerdes’s motive for kidnapping the boy.
"It could be mental illness. It could be drug use," Chief Rodriguez speculated. "We're still trying to figure out where she was headed to. The child was found in Jourdanton with one of [Gerdes’s] aunts. We're trying to figure out if she had future plans of leaving there, going further south or east."
Police say that Gerdes was arrested and charged for stealing the grandmother's car. Rodriguez said that they have contacted the Atascosa County District Attorney's Office to determine if she will face a charge for kidnapping.