Child found in backseat after being abducted during Bartholomew County auto-theft

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SEYMOUR, Ind. – A 12-year-old girl has been found after being abducted during an apparent auto-theft.

Seymour police received a call around 9:30 Tuesday night from the child’s mother. She was at the Dollar General Store on Tipton Street in Seymour. She told police her vehicle was missing, and her 12-year-old daughter was inside the car.

While officers were speaking with the mother, Seymour police communications got a 911 call from the daughter. She was able to provide information regarding her whereabouts to officers.

The child told police an unidentified female took her mother’s car and she was being held against her will.

Bartholomew County sheriff’s deputies say they were told of the possible child abduction around 9:40 Tuesday night. The suspected vehicle was a black Dodge Durango.

The victim claims she advised the suspect of her presence in the vehicle, but she responded that she “had to get away from someone who had just killed multiple people.” This was later found to be untrue.

The 12-year old stayed on the line with communications as the vehicle traveled north on I-65. The girl was able to provide landmarks to communications, which assisted officers with the vehicle’s location. Officers with the Columbus Police Department and the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office were able to locate and stop the vehicle in the area of the 68-mile marker in Bartholomew County.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as 28-year-old Shawna Lucas. Mother and daughter were reunited at the scene.

“Fortunately, this case had a positive outcome. Multiple agencies and Dispatch worked well together to recover this missing child quickly and safely”, said Bartholomew County Sheriff Matthew A. Myers. “As parents, we take a risk anytime we leave a child alone in a motor vehicle, no matter how briefly.”

Lucas was transferred to the Seymour Police Department. She was charged with vehicle theft and criminal confinement.

Lucas admitted that she took the vehicle and knew there was a child inside the vehicle. The motive for taking the vehicle is still under investigation.

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