Four-month-old girl allegedly abducted by mother's boyfriend found safe in Galveston; suspect in custody

March 19, 2013 6:39:17 PM PDT
Authorities say they've found Stephanie Lavette Phillips, the 4-month-old girl who's been the subject of an Amber Alert since her abduction this morning.

Galveston police say they found Stephanie Lavette Phillips around 8pm alone inside a Galveston hotel room in the 100 block of Seawall. Authorities say she appeared to be in good health but was transported to UTMB for evaluation.

Authorities say her alleged abductor, 26-year-old Byron Gee, fled the hotel but was found during a search of a nearby neighorbood. He was taken into custody at 19th and L and is now being held in Galveston.

It wasn't immediately clear how authorities tracked Gee and Phillips to that Galveston hotel, but we know Gee's 1999 Ford Expedition was found abandoned in southwest Houston earlier in the day.

Phillips had been missing since about 6:30am Tuesday. Police say Gee took the girl from her mother at a southwest Houston apartment complex off West Bellfort near Fondren, where they live. Gee is the boyfriend of Phillips' mother but not the baby's biological father.

Early Tuesday morning, neighbors at that complex say they heard Phillip's mother screaming.

"Screaming, yelling, 'Bring my baby back! I'm going to call police!'" said resident Robert Watson.

But her cries failed to stop the man who had her child.

After he took the baby, witnesses say Gee knocked on doors with the screaming child in his arms and then carjacked a woman as she was leaving for work before dawn.

"He pulled her hair and threw her to the ground from the truck," said Daisy Gomez.

The child had no change of clothing or diapers and no formula. In fact, she was wearing only a white T-shirt and diaper at the time of her abduction.

"I always seen him sitting on the stairs. He was holding her, he was holding the baby a couple of times, but he just looked throwed off; he was crazy looking," said resident Herbert Wilson. "Never would have it expected it to be so close to home like that."

Gee is no stranger to the justice system. He did time for aggravated assault, car theft and was also placed in a group home after being diagnosed with what police say was bipolar disorder.

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