Lois Long was taking her dog on their usual morning walk on Friday up Broadway Avenue. But Rowdy was living up to his name, rambunctiously trying to run into the street.
Long, not wanting to be pulled into the road, took her dog down a back street. As she approached the consignment shop Granma’s Attic, she noticed a pile of clothes in the alley.
Long looked closer.
She noticed a leg.
“I thought it was one of those newborn baby dolls,” Long said.
Her discovery would bring national attention to an area blocks away from campus. It would also reunite a missing child with its parents.
Long had heard on the radio that a baby had been kidnapped from a Stanford hospital. When Long reached out and touched what she thought was a doll, it started crying.
She said she realized that she might have found Grayci Jade Barrows, who was wearing a shirt, diaper and head wrap.
Park City senior Chesney Davidson, who lives on Park Street near where the baby was found, said she was shocked by the kidnapping.
“You feel like you live in a remote, safe area where you feel safe doing daily walks,” she said. “I’m very surprised that it was taken to Bowling Green.”
Matt Atkinson, who lives on Park Street near where Grayci was found, said an Amber Alert had been signaled at Greenview Regional Hospital, where he works.
“I was surprised they found the baby so close,” Atkinson said.
Grayci was taken from her mother, Samantha Luttrell, at about 4 a.m. Friday from Fort Logan Hospital.
Tanya Shelton, a part-time nurses’ aid at Fort Logan Hospital, has been charged with the kidnapping. She was arrested Friday morning at a Franklin truck stop.
Harry Nickens, spokesman for Fort Logan Hospital, said Shelton reportedly told Luttrell that she would take care of the baby so the new mother could rest.
Instead, Shelton reportedly left town with the child.
Hospital employees and the mother were able to alert Stanford police of the kidnapping, and the Amber Alert went out.
Law enforcement officials provide the media with “a description of the suspect and his vehicle” during the Amber Alert, according to the Web site amberalertnow.com. In the second half of the alert, radio and television stations interrupt their broadcasts with the information they receive.
Kentucky State Trooper Nick Stephens said Shelton was arrested at a truck stop off Interstate 65 near Franklin at 6:45 a.m.
But the baby wasn’t with her.
Stanford police Detective Rick Edwards said they have not found a motive.
Shelton did not acknowledge the baby when she was arrested, Edwards said.
Shelton is being charged with kidnapping and burglary in the third degree and is being held at Lincoln County Detention Center, Edwards said.
It was another two hours before the baby’s whereabout was discovered by Long.
“Words aren’t enough to express our appreciation,” said Grayci’s father, Corey Barrows, in a story in the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The child was taken to Kosair’s Children’s Hospital in Louisville and reunited with her parents.
Grayci was in good condition yesterday, Nickens said. She is expected to be released today.
Reach Beth Wilberding at [email protected]