CHAMBLEE, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Chamblee police and other law enforcement agencies released new details on a DeKalb County child abduction case at a press conference Monday, attended by the rescued one-year-old’s family.

Police dash cam video shows officers arresting two suspects who allegedly snatched a one-year-old from his stroller near his home on Clairview Drive in Chamblee on Saturday. The baby, Mateo Alejandro Montufar-Barrera, was unharmed. He was disguised as a girl.

“The flock cameras that we all share in different jurisdictions were very vital in the apprehension and the development of evidence and leads,” said Chamblee Police Chief Kerry Thomas.

Chamblee police worked with state and federal law enforcement to find the suspects,  identified as Maynor Dario Valera-Zuniga and his wife Kristin Nicole Valera-Zuniga of Brookhaven. Officers tracked them down in Carrollton hours after the abduction.

Mateo, his mother other family members attended the press conference, where police spoke on their behalf.

“They are happy to have Mateo back and to get things back to where they were before,” said Assistant Chamblee Police Chief Mike Beller.

As for the motive, police would only say the suspects intended to raise the child as their own. They released new information, detailing how the suspects attempted to kidnap another child just before taking Mateo.

“Just 10 or 15 minutes prior, they tried to grab another baby,” Beller said, further explaining how that mother got away and reportedly did not call police.

Beller also described how Mateo’s mother, Leslie Barrera, fought back as suspects snatched her son out of his stroller, and even took the suspect Maynor Valera-Zuniga’s gun and tried to shoot him with it. Officers previously said she tore the suspect’s clothes and ripped off one of his shoes, as he and his wife got away with her son.

The family is thankful Mateo wasn’t hurt, but officers say things could have turned out much differently. They said the mother did not know the suspects.

“Absolutely the most rare [type of abduction] is a stranger abduction, and that’s what it appears we have and that’s less than 5% of all abductions,” said FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Chris Hacker.

Hacker says that roughly 5% is out of the more than 200,000 child abductions a year.

The Zunigas were booked into the Dekalb County Jail and are facing multiple charges, including kidnapping and aggravated assault.

Police are asking anyone with information on their other kidnapping attempt to contact law enforcement.

Comments

Leave a Reply