An infant girl is dead in Ohio after allegedly being abducted by a man who crashed his car into the side of a house earlier this week.
Johnathon J. Baker, 23, is alleged to have stolen his girlfriend’s 7-month-old child during a dispute on Tuesday – leaving the Buckeye State city of North Baltimore and traveling east-southeast.
After the child’s mother called 911, North Baltimore Police sent a be-on-the-look-out (BOLO) notice to law enforcement in the area.
“The male subject had indicated he was feeling homicidal and suicidal and had made a statement to the child’s mother that he killed the baby,” the Tiffin Police Department alleged in an initial press release. “The BOLO also advised that the subject was armed with a firearm.”
Baker’s yellow Camaro was quickly spotted entering the City of Tiffin by an off-duty officer, police said. The off-duty officer then started following the vehicle and radioed in its location as time went by. Seneca County Sheriff’s Office deputies, along with TPD officers, eventually attempted to initiate a traffic stop.
But the driver allegedly gave chase.
“The Camaro began accelerating and at a high rate of speed, erratically drove off the roadway through the front yard of one residence and crashing into another residence, knocking it off its foundation,” the TPD said in their first press release.
“The suspect vehicle rapidly accelerated and veered left off the roadway, crashing into a residence,” the department added in a follow-up press release. “No one was in the home at the time of the crash.”
The crash occurred just before 4:00 p.m. at a home on Sandusky Street in Tiffin – a small town some 55 miles southeast of Toledo.
Officers and deputies broke through the car’s back window to get the infant out, the TPD said.
“There were seven or eight cops pulling up, getting out, guns drawn, running at the car,” neighbor Jason Miller told Toledo-based CBS affiliate WTOL. “Then I saw the EMS pull up … they got the baby out right away.”
Miller said officers worked for roughly “an hour and a half” to remove Baker from the car.
“The child was bleeding from the head and had labored breathing,” according to police. “First aid was provided to the child on scene. Tiffin Fire and Rescue Division responded to the scene providing medical attention to both the child and adult subject.”
Both the baby girl and her alleged kidnapper were transported by ambulance Tiffin Mercy Hospital. The girl, however, succumbed to her injuries. Baker was later transferred to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Toledo.
Law enforcement offered condolences to the family of the deceased child.
“My heart breaks for the family of this innocent child and you can be sure this matter will be investigated thoroughly to determine exactly why and what occurred today,” TPD Chief David Pauly said. “The Tiffin Police wish to extend our deepest condolences to the family.”
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of this innocent baby and to the deputies, officers and EMS that were involved in the lifesaving attempt for this infant,” Seneca County Sheriff Frederick Stevens said. “No one should have to deal with tragedy like this but unfortunately, they did today.”
Official charges have not been filed but according to WTOL, the TPD is investigating the infant’s death as a homicide.
“The investigation is on-going and additional search warrants, interviews, and other investigative steps will be taken,” Pauly said. “The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has been requested to assist in processing for evidence. Tiffin Police are working with the North Baltimore Police, the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office, and both the Seneca and Wood County Prosecutors regarding this tragic incident.”
Baker remains hospitalized and in critical condition. Law enforcement has not said whether he is related to the dead baby girl.
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Johnathon Baker allegedly abducted child before fatal crash
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