5-month-old girl found safe after van stolen in Normandy

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NORMANDY, MO (KPLR) – Normandy police and FBI agents were overjoyed an AMBER Alert had a happy ending. It is an unusual case. Police said the mother of a baby girl that went missing Monday night finally reported the disappearance Thursday afternoon. Within a few hours, the baby was found safe and sound.

Citizens like Randall Young were celebrating the outcome.

“I do think it’s a Christmas miracle that the child is fine and is okay,” Young said.

Five-month-old Eden Brooke Hawthorne disappeared at a chicken restaurant in Normandy about five blocks from the police station. Police reported Eden’s mother had her baby in her mini-van along with four unknown people. The mother went inside with one man and while she was in the restaurant, the other three stole her van with the baby girl inside the vehicle.

Apparently, when the unknown subjects realized they had Eden, they decided to get rid of her.

“The baby was dropped off by a person at the home of a random residence,” said Normandy Police Major Tony Madigan.

When the AMBER Alert was issued Thursday afternoon, things began to develop quickly.

“We started getting tips and some information was shared,” Madigan said.

Someone took the baby to a local hospital and she is now in the car of the Division of Family Services.

“We’re just extremely pleased that we were able to have a successful conclusion and this baby is healthy and happy and going to be here to see Christmas,” Madigan said.

There are many questions yet to be answered on this case, among them: Why did it take so long to report the disappearance?

“Monday. Today is Thursday. That’s four days. A five-month-old baby? No; no way,” said Camel Liner, who lives in the Normandy area.

Police expect charges to be filed, but they are not saying who is in trouble. For now there is a tremendous sense of relief at the Normandy Police headquarters where the Christmas lights burn bright.

“We’re very relieved, we’re happy we had a happy outcome,” Madigan said.

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