HOUSTON (January 13, 2012)--A Houston toddler who was missing for 15 hours after a stranger stole his mother's SUV with the child strapped in his seat inside the vehicle was found unharmed Friday, police said.
Houston police say 18-month-old Evan Montgomery Lamar Miller was still strapped in the backseat when the 1996 Jeep Cherokee was discovered Friday morning behind a strip mall about a block from the Walmart parking lot in Houston from where the SUV was stolen.
Evan "appears to be fine,” a police statement said.
Police and spectators cheered Friday at the sight of the boy in his mother's arms.
He was taken to a hospital to be checked out.
Terron Henry, who owns Cool Runnings Jamaican Grill, says his
assistant spotted the SUV abandoned in a walkway.
Henry went to investigate and found the boy in the car seat.
The father of three ran inside and dialed 911.
Henry then took the sleeping Evan from the SUV, went into the restaurant and wrapped the youngster in a shirt to wait for police to arrive.
Henry says the boy didn't scream after he awoke, but said tears streamed down his dimpled cheeks.
Evan's mother left the car's engine idling Thursday evening when she ran into the store to withdraw some money from an ATM.
The toddler’s 7-year-old cousin fled the SUV as a man climbed into the car and drove it away.