9-year-old girl carried baby brother to safety after kidnapping, mother says

A Las Vegas mother shared her family’s terrifying experience, hours after her baby boy and 9-year-old daughter were kidnapped outside a 7-Eleven. (Source: KVVU)
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 5:52 PM EDT
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LAS VEGAS (KVVU/Gray News) - A Las Vegas mother recounted her terrifying experience after her infant son and 9-year-old daughter were kidnapped outside a 7-Eleven.

Police said a man was arrested after the children were found safe.

Karen Quinn, a mother of five, told KVVU the abduction occurred just before 8:30 p.m. Monday.

Quinn said she needed to use the ATM, so she parked her car outside the front door of the 7-Eleven, left her two kids in her car with the engine running, locked the door, and went into the convenience store.

The mother said she made eye contact with the suspect, who she described as “bad in spirit,” sitting at a slot machine near the front door. She said she watched as he got up and walked to her car, looking inside. At that point, she started walking back to the car to confront him.

The 7-Eleven clerk said that’s when he heard the mother “screaming for her babies,” according to another store employee.

“He opened the [car] door, and I tried to grab him, and I grabbed his sweater in the door, and he reversed and kind of rolled over the top of my foot,” Quinn said. “And I was like, ‘Please, my kids are in the car! Please! My kids are in the car!’ He looked back at my daughter. She was like, ‘Mom! Mom!’ And I was like, ‘Please, just let them out; you can have the car. Just let them out, let them out!’”

Quinn said the man drove away in her car with the two children in the car, and she chased after him on foot.

“I chased after the car until I couldn’t anymore,” she said.

Police said the suspect eventually released the children.

Incredibly, the brave 9-year-old girl found her way back to the convenience store with her baby brother in her arms.

“My daughter ran five blocks from the store with my 11-month baby, with no shoes on,” Quinn said.

Police shared the news with Quinn that they had located her children.

“And he said, ‘We have your kids.’ And when he said that, I just fell to the ground,” Quinn said. “I was like, ‘Thank you, God, thank you, God, thank you.’”

It didn’t end there, however. An officer saw the stolen car as the suspect drove it, and a police chase followed, ending when the stolen vehicle crashed into another car.

After the collision, the suspect fled on foot, but police caught up and took the suspect into custody. No other parties are facing charges in this incident.

Police said 38-year-old Mario Estrada faces charges that include kidnapping, child abuse and grand larceny. They also said Estrada has a suspended license.

The person in the other car involved in the crash suffered minor injuries and went to the hospital.

Quinn said she and her children are home safe now but are still physically sore and mentally shaken from the incident.