Metairie, La. - Jefferson Parish sheriff's deputies have arrested a man they say kidnapped a seven-year-old Metairie girl. Steven Carter, 29, was taken into custody Wednesday night in the 1100 block of North Tonti Street in New Orleans.
Investigators say a 7-year-old girl was kidnapped as she played near her Fat City home. The girl somehow managed to escape a short time later.
It happened Wednesday just before 5 p.m. at an apartment complex in the 3400 block of Edenborn Avenue.
Deputies say they learned Carter resided on Iowa Street in Kenner. Investigators went to the house. However a family member said Carter moved to the 1100 block of N. Tonti. Street.
Once there, authorities discovered the suspect's vehicle. Deputies towed the vehicle to the JPSO crime lab for further investigation.
Shortly after that, Carter was arrested and transported to the Jefferson Parish Criminal Investigations Bureau for questioning.
The grandfather says he is thankful his granddaughter is alive after being kidnapped from the Yorkshire Edenborn apartment complex.
"I was walking around, praying in the neighborhood, thinking God, please don't let anything happen to my grand baby, please, please. As it turns out, he answers prayers," said the child's grandfather, who FOX 8 is choosing not to identify.
"The suspect went into the Yorkshire apartments a few times on foot, came back in and out, I guess to scope out the place. And the last time that he went in there, he saw a little girl, seven years old, she was real small, and just picked her up from the back and brought her to his car and he left," JPSO spokesman Glen Boyd said.
Boyd says Carter took off with the little girl in a gold sedan.
Half an hour later and just about two miles away on West William David Parkway, the girl somehow managed to escape from the car.
"A stranger saw her, another lady, and called 911. We went to the scene, the mother went to the scene and verified it was her daughter," said Boyd.
The child was checked out by EMS on the scene. Boyd says she was taken to Children's Hospital as a precaution.
The girl's grandfather says he's angry that the suspect was able to get into the gated apartment complex to begin with.
"It's supposed to be locked at all times. There's one gate that doesn't lock. If the guests come in, they put a rock in the gate to keep people from going in and out. That's going to have to change for sure. Very easily, they could not be going to a hospital, I could be going to a funeral for my granddaughter and that's scary."