Detroit mom thanks police and public for son's safe return

Moved to tears, the mother the 3-year-old boy abducted last week comes face to face with the people who found him and brought him home safe.

LaToya Spears, mother of abducted boy
“I prayed that whole day that God would send me back my baby unharmed. And I got my prayers answered and I got my baby returned back safe to me. And I appreciate everybody that was involved,” said Latoya Spears, mother of 3-year old Marvie Gardner.

With Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Police Chief James Craig at her side, they praised the people who stayed calm and rescued little Marvie Gardner from the hands of the suspect - 19-year-old Michael Grayson - who allegedly took him for ransom.

“This is a day the city was proud. It’s a good news day, and they aren't all good news days in the city, but it was a good news day because of all of you, and thank you very much,” said Mayor Duggan.

DDOT bus driver Linda Stowall played a key role in the rescue. She was put in touch with dispatchers when the boy and suspect were discovered riding her bus. She says, she pretended the engine failed.

“I cut the engine and just made a loud announcement,” said Stowall. “I got off the coach and walked around it, and by the time I got back around front, the two detectives that apprehended him off the coach were there.”

All the people at Friday’s news conference represent only a fraction of those who participated in the search and rescue. That includes all the people who shared the Amber Alert on social media.

Chief James Craig, Detroit Police Dept.
“Every time when the bell goes off, we come together in a very synchronized way and we get it done,” said Chief Craig.

Marvie's mom says the boy is doing well, seemingly unphased by what she calls her worst nightmare.

“He didn't say anything he was just all smiles.”

She thanked everyone again for paying close attention to the Amber Alert.

“I want to thank everybody that participated – everybody. I really do appreciate it from the bottom of my heart, for all of you getting out there and searching for my baby to bring him home to me.”

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