“My whole world stopped”: Greenville woman speaks out after man steals car with her son inside

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -We’re hearing from a mother in the east as she recalls the shocking moment when a man stole her car with her six-month-old son in the backseat Monday morning.

Esiah Andrews is all content now but has no idea of the ordeal he’s been through.

It was around 5 a.m. Monday morning at Arlington Pointe Apartments, when Tanee Spencer says the most heart-stopping moment of her life happened as she and her sister watched someone drive off in her car with her six-month-old son Esiah in the backseat.

“I didn’t even see him,” Spencer said. “When I first pulled up, I didn’t see anyone outside. As soon as I heard the car screeching off, I was like when did someone get in the car.”

“The car door closed, and it just drove off,” said Esiah Andrews’ aunt, Tatiana Andrews. “All I could really hear is just her saying no, no, no.”

Spencer says she was picking up her sister, Andrews, from the apartments on Wandsworth Drive in Greenville where she lives, when the car was stolen.

“I don’t think I’ve ever ran so fast,” Spencer said. “I couldn’t get to him, but my sister called the police right away.”

“Just telling them that somebody just stole the car, and my nephew is in it,” Andrews said. “I need them to come like now.”

Spencer says she left the car running in the parking lot, while she went to get her sister but didn’t know baby Esiah and the car would be taken.

After using the city’s camera system, Greenville police say the car was found within 10 minutes as they say the suspect Antonio Taylor ditched it on Fairfax Avenue after he realized Esiah was inside.

Police say Esiah was safe, but he was taken to ECU Health Medical Center as a precaution.

Spencer says police told her he was found in his car seat turned sideways on the driver’s side backseat.

“I said what?” Spencer said. “They kept asking was he strapped in initially. I was like yes, I always make sure my son is strapped in.”

Police say Taylor was found about a block away from where he left the car by a Pitt County Sheriff’s K9.

He was charged with second-degree kidnapping, larceny of motor vehicle, and possession of stolen motor vehicle.

“I felt relief for her,” Andrews said. “I wasn’t just only thinking about myself, but for her I felt relief because this is her first child.”

Spencer says she’s glad her baby boy is back in her arms and says being aware of your surroundings is vital because you never know who’s watching.

“Anything can happen in a split second,” Spencer said.

Greenville police say they were working on an Amber Alert for Esiah but didn’t have to send it out because he was found safe fairly quickly.

They say Spencer will not be charged, as everything happened within seconds.

Spencer says she doesn’t know Taylor, who is in jail on a $250,000 secured bond.