NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Less than a day after being arrested for kidnapping a one-month-old baby in North Charleston, Andrea Samone Walker, 19, faced a bond court judge.
Now details are emerging about the accused kidnapper, including a possible pregnancy. Coworkers and even her mother's best friend are shocked that Walker would be involved in a kidnapping, but Judge Linda Lombard did not put any faith in Walker's character.
Lidia Perez, the baby's mother, asked Lombard to deny Walker bond or, if a bond had to be set, she wanted it "to be a large bond." Lombard did deny bond for Walker, citing the "seriousness and egregiousness" of the crimes she is accused of committing as well as Perez' request.
Walker's past convictions as a juvenile -- including grand larceny and unlawfully carrying a weapon -- as well as a series of pending cases against her weighed heavily in Lombard's decision to deny bond. [See Walker's Rap Sheet from SLED.]
ACCUSED KIDNAPPER TOLD COWORKERS SHE WAS PREGNANT
Light is slowly being shed on the path Walker traveled as she allegedly abducted the Perez baby from his mother's running car. In bond court Wednesday afternoon, she told the judge she worked at Wendy's, a nearby fast food restaurant.
Coworkers at the restaurant said Walker had been telling people she was pregnant. Additionally, she told them she was having problems with the father of her unborn child.
The day of the abduction, Walker told coworkers she had a doctor's appointment that was running long and would be late reporting for work.
Yet, Walker never made it to Wendy's Monday afternoon, said a coworker speaking only on the condition of anonymity. She did appear at the restaurant Tuesday, though, to pick up a paycheck.
Walker was described as a good employee, who had not created any problems at the fast food restaurant during the three months of her employment.
"This is really surprising," said Walker's co-worker, who doesn't understand why she kidnapped a baby.
Also stunned and confused is a woman who would only identify herself as Sonya. She said she is close to Walker's mother and has known Walker since she was a child. Sonya lives in the Goose Creek apartment Walker named as her last address during her bond court hearing Wednesday.
Sonya said Walker would come to her house and get ready for work because she didn't have a car. "I didn't even know this was going on until her mom called me this morning and told me what happened," Sonya said.
"I can't believe it. I was just in shock to know," Sonya added. "My heart just goes out to her mom because I can't even imagine. I can't even imagine."
Baby Angel's mother, Lidia Juarez, still wondered Wednesday night what may have driven Walker to snatch her baby. "I don't even know her," Juarez said. "Why would she follow me and take my baby?"
Police said they have no knowledge of Walker's pregnancy.
A FAMILY, A CITY RELIEVED
While Walker faced bond court, police officials from North Charleston emphasized the importance of being thankful for the safe return of baby Angel Miguel Perez.
Law enforcement officials from the local, state and federal level as well as North Charleston mayor Keith Summey were all visibly elated to announce the safe return of Perez to his mother and father at a press conference Wednesday morning.
Spencer Pryor, North Charleston police's information officer, said two phone tips helped identify the suspect as Andrea Samone Walker, 19, as well as the location of both the suspect and the one-month-old baby.
The tips led police to the Grove Apartments in Summerville where the baby was secured and Walker was apprehended without incident.
Sources close to the investigation say one tip came from an acquaintance of Walker's. According to the tip, Walker showed up at the tipster's home with the baby. The tipster became suspicious, looked up current Amber Alerts on the Internet and called police after finding the information about the Perez baby.
Police believe Walker followed Perez' mother, Lidia Perez, and when the opportunity presented itself to kidnap the child, she did.
In an early morning release, police said the baby was safe but would be transported to the Medical University for an exam to make sure he was in perfect health. At MUSC, mother, father and son were reunited.
A QUICK ERRAND TURNED NIGHTMARE
The ordeal for Perez and his mother and father started Monday evening when the boy was snatched out of his mother's car in a North Charleston post office parking lot.
Perez's mother told police she left her son in a running car while she went inside to drop off mail. When she returned, the child was gone, she told police.
Witnesses told police they saw a black woman running from the post office parking lot with a baby in her arms. They described the suspect as a short, stocky black woman wearing a blue and white striped shirt and boots.
By Monday night, police released a description of the suspect's car, a gray or charcoal Honda Civic with a rear spoiler.
An Amber Alert was issued by the State Law Enforcement Division Monday night and the FBI joined in the search Tuesday morning.
At a press conference Tuesday, police were asking people to be vigilant and take note of people who have a newborn now, but did not before Monday. "There is someone with a child that didn't before yesterday and I think that's important," said North Charleston Police Spokesman Spencer Pryor.
Investigators said the baby's mother left her North Charleston home Monday afternoon and went to a medical clinic. She then went shopping at Walmart and Ross department stores. Police believe the abductor may have been watching the mother.
"It's always a possibility," Pryor said. "That's why we're hoping that if there's someone who saw them within that two and a half hour time frame, perhaps may have seen someone at this location or someone getting in a car directly behind the victim."
Police said the car from which the baby was abducted had dark, tinted windows, so the baby's presence would not have been immediately noticeable.
The FBI issued a $20,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the kidnapper.
Two other people were found in the home with Walker, but they have not yet been identified and no charges have been filed against them.
Live 5 News reporters Hatzel Vela, Nicole Johnson, Harve Jacobs and Tracey Amick contributed to this story.
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