BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Authorities are continuing to search for suspects after a baby was found uninjured on the side of the road in Berkeley County.
Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said seven men armed with guns were responsible for taking the 4-month-old girl out of a house following a home invasion in Holly Hill. Ravenell said the whole incident started at 3:55 p.m. on Tuesday when deputies received a call about a burglary and a kidnapping.
Officials with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday afternoon that they were searching the area of Mudville Road following a tip that a vehicle involved in a baby's kidnapping was spotted in the area. BCSO officials later said they were in fact looking for someone not related to the case.
"Our investigation indicates seven unknown males with guns forced their way into the residence on Catamount Road forcing three adults and six juveniles to the floor," Ravenell said."One of the gunmen struck a 52-year-old woman in the head with a gun while she was protecting her grandson."
Holly Hill police say the men also assaulted the child's father and fled the scene, taking the 4-month-old child with the intention of asking for ransom.
Orangeburg authorities say while deputies were responding to initiate an Amber Alert for the child, their communications center was notified of an infant who was located in Berkeley County.
An official with the Mocks Corner Rural Fire Department says the baby was found along the side of the road in the area of Highway 176 and 311.
"This is an ongoing investigation and evidence at this time indicates that this was not a random act of violence," Ravenell said on Wednesday."We will locate the cowards who entered the residence and snatched an innocent child from their family and later discarded the helpless child on the side of a road. We are continuing to interview witnesses, collect evidence, and will be working with all available resources to bring these individuals back to Orangeburg County to stand for the charges they have committed against this family."
Deputies were actively searching for two vehicles Tuesday night following the discovery of the uninjured baby girl. The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office was searching for a red Chevy Impala and a green Ford Explorer in the area of Black Tom Road.
Emergency officials say the baby was checked out by EMTs on scene and was not injured.
According to emergency officials, the child was returned to her parents who traveled from Orangeburg County to be reunited with their daughter.
A woman inside the home where the baby was taken said she did not want to make any statements on the incident and said,"We're afraid for our lives."
Residents in the area said they were shocked about the incident.
If you have any information you are asked to call police.