MALAYSIA - It was 18 hours of hell for British expatriate Sarah Joseph.
The 39-year-old was having dinner at the porch of their home in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, on Friday when a man barged into their home, grabbed her baby and ran out.
He jumped into a waiting car and disappeared with the 20-month-old boy.
But the English teacher's anxious wait for news of Freddie ended on a happy note.
He was found standing alone by the roadside at Taman Titiwangsa, Kuala Lumpur, yesterday afternoon. He was not injured, The Star reported.
Ms Joseph's boyfriend and Freddie's father, a Filipino, works abroad. She lives in the house with Freddie and a Filipino maid, Malaysian Insider reported.
A neighbour said that the mother was seen screaming and walking up and down the street in a frenzied state after the kidnapping.
The drama unfolded on Friday evening.
Ms Joseph had stepped into the house for a while when she heard plates falling.
She rushed out and saw the man grabbing the baby from his chair.
According to an eyewitness, a white car had stopped in front of the house at around 6pm. A man got out and put on a baseball cap and spectacles before approaching the house, The Star reported.
Moments later, he was seen running to the car with a baby in his arms. The passenger door of the car was opened by someone inside and the child was passed to them.
Ms Joseph was seen running after the man, screaming.
Two passers-by went to her aid and almost managed to pull Freddie out of the car. But the man got out of the car and threatened them with a machete.
Ms Joseph clung to the car and was dragged for a few metres before she fell.
The Filipino maid, who declined to be named, was in the kitchen when she heard screams: "Give me my baby! Help me! Help me!"
She said: "When I rushed out, they were already gone."
City Criminal Investigation Department chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Ku Chin Wah said that ransom was unlikely as the targets in such cases were usually those who could communicate with their kidnappers.
SAC Ku also said that the boy's reportedly estranged father was not a suspect in the incident.
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