Police in Cedar City, Utah said the child’s babysitter, 31-year-old Emily Melissa Luciano, is accused of taking the infant out of state without the mother’s consent.
“We are thankful for the collaboration and great working partnerships of the many agencies who assisted with this investigation,” the police department said.
The tense drama beagn Friday night when authorities received a call around 10 p.m. from the child’s mother who said her three children had not returned from the home of Luciano, who had been caring for the baby, a 1-year-old and a 5-year-old.
“The mother agreed to allow the children to spend the night with Mrs. Luciano and expected them home this morning,” police said Saturday. “Mrs. Luciano continued to provide excuses to the mother about the delay in returning her children.”
According to police, Luciano dropped the other children off with a “third party” and then traveled with the baby to the Denver area, some 580 miles from Cedar City.
“This was done without the mother’s knowledge or permission,” police said.
Police determined that the infant, Peyton Everett Carabello-Winston, was in imminent danger and an Amber Alert was issued.
“Investigating officers were able to communicate through text message and telephone conversation with Mrs. Luciano; however, she consistently provided deceitful and inconsistent statements to officers and was not cooperative with the investigation,” police said.
With help from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and FBI agents, authorities found the infant and Luciano at the Denver airport.
Luciano is in FBI custody awaiting “further legal proceedings.” The infant was found unharmed, police said. As of Saturday afternoon, the child was in the custody of FBI Victim Services and arrangements were being made to return him to his mother.
The older children, also unharmed, have been safely reunited with their mother, according to police.