GASTONIA, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Witnesses say on the eve of Thanksgiving, a family was making their rounds to visit loved ones and brought a friend along with them for the ride.
In the car with them was one-year-old Gage Conley, his parents, and then friend Theodore Roosevelt Lipscomb, who has been accused of kidnapping Gage in the family’s car.
Gaston County Police arrested Lipscomb on Thursday. The incident happened in a Gastonia mobile home community where the family was visiting close friends.
Witnesses at View Heights Court say the parents were inside a home when the suspect took off in their Chevrolet Suburban with the one-year-old inside. Neighbors were in disbelief.
"It's surprising that somebody would take off with a child right at Thanksgiving," neighbor Quentin Carswell said.
As deputy cars lined this street of where the crime happened, the concern for the child's well-being, grew into the early morning hours on Thanksgiving day.
"I actually seen the Amber alert and it came in at 1:36 a.m." said Carswell.
Investigators found the toddler at 5:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving day, unharmed, in York County, SC, which is also where they arrested the suspect.
Investigators are still searching for the stolen vehicle.
"Well it's a good thing that the child is safe and back at home,” he said.