Samantha Nicole Barrett allegedly took a 2003 Ford Taurus from a Comanche Drive residence about 11 p.m. Tuesday. In the backseat, strapped into his car seat, was an 8-month-old infant.
“We don’t know the motive behind it at this time as to why she took the child and left in the car,” Sheriff Clark Millsap said Wednesday. “... There was no way she could not have known the baby was in the car because the mother had already transported her around during the day to certain locations trying to find her a place to live. And then last night they had both gotten in the car with the baby and the mother had to run back inside to get something. When she came back out, the car’s gone, baby’s gone and she’s gone.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday morning prompted an Amber alert for the child, identified as William Stover in reports.
Millsap said Barrett was located early Wednesday afternoon in Henry County following a possible hit-and-run. She fled police on Interstate 75 south into Lamar County before being stopped by stop sticks.
“The chase started in Henry, ended in [Lamar County]. Stop sticks were deployed,” he said. “To my knowledge, there was no accident. What started the chase is probably a hit and run — that’s what I understand from the information coming in. She had struck a vehicle and took off and a chase ensued.”
A male subject exited the vehicle at one point during the pursuit. Millsap said the subject appears to have no bearing on the initial incident and was someone Barrett may have picked up after leaving the Acworth location.
Stover’s mother was taken Wednesday afternoon to be reunited with her son, Millsap said. Video released by news outlets showed the infant being lifted from a vehicle by investigators.
Photos published by media outlets showed the sedan up a small embankment with damage to the driver’s side door.
Millsap said Barrett will face kidnapping and theft by taking — motor vehicle charges in Bartow County with Henry County adding charges related to the pursuit.
This is not her first encounter with local authorities, Millsap said. “In 2009, she was arrested here in Bartow for possession of meth by ingestion. ... The way I understand it she had just gotten out of the Cobb County jail about a month ago.”
Along with the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office and Henry County authorities, the Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Cobb and Acworth police departments, the GBI and Federal Bureau of Investigation were involved in the response effort.
“We want to exhaust every resource and anything that we can do every time we have an incident like this. ... This is another case of law enforcement agencies working together for the same goal,” the sheriff said. “I am so glad that this is a happy ending, so to speak.”