Amber Alert canceled after 4-month-old girl allegedly abducted by mother's boyfriend found safe

March 19, 2013 8:08:52 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 early Tuesday morning.

Stephanie was found around 7pm after Houston police received a tip. The four-month-old was asleep and alone inside a Galveston hotel room in the 100 block of Seawall. She appeared to be in good health, but was transported to UTMB for evaluation.

"I just want to go get her. She's in Galveston," said the baby's mother, Carolyn Phillips. "I'm very happy. I'm about to go get her."

Police say canine officers tracked her alleged abductor, 26-year-old Byron Gee, to a nearby neighorbood, and officers found him hiding under a house on 19th and L. He came out with his hands up and was immediately taken into custody.

Phillips had been missing since about 6:30am. Police say Gee took the girl from her mother at a southwest Houston apartment complex off West Bellfort near Fondren, where they live. 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.

Detectives say hours later, they found that 1999 Ford Expedition abandoned at a hotel in southwest Houston. Witnesses there saw him knocking on doors and asking for a ride until someone in green minivan agreed to take them to Galveston. Detectives believe he used money he got during the carjacking to pay for the ride.

Detectives say Phillips was without 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 the boyfriend of Phillips' mother but not the baby's biological father.

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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