RITTMAN, OH (WOIO) - For 20 long minutes Jordyn Pamer and Zachary Phillips were in a panic as it appeared their 7-month-old baby boy, Zeke, had been abducted from the family’s home in Rittman.
“It’s like your worst nightmare coming true. He’s gone,” Pamer said.
Pamer and Phillips had just arrived home Saturday afternoon when Pamer went to take a shower, and Phillips -- who works nights -- decided to take a nap.
Zeke was still strapped in the car seat, but when Pamer came out of the shower, the car carrier -- with Zeke inside -- was gone.
After 20 frantic minutes, Pamer’s father found Zeke, still in the car carrier, by the door in their unfinished walk-out basement.
It appears it was a stroke of very good luck that the family dog, Lola, was out back, on a leash that allows her to go right up to the basement door.
“I think whoever had my son opened the door to leave with him, I think my dog greeted them and they got scared and I think they left the baby and took off,” Pamer said.
Pamer said as she got out of the shower she could hear the dog barking and growling, but she does that often when she is outside, so Pamer didn’t think much of it--until they found Zeke just inside the door.
As police questioned the couple, Pamer mentioned that about a month ago, a woman claiming to be from Wayne County Children’s Services had come to the door, Pamer answered the door while holding her baby, and reported that someone had filed a complaint about the couple.
Further investigation revealed that there was never a complaint filed against the couple and neighbors reported that the same woman, making the same claim, had stopped at their homes.
The family is now convinced that there is a connection between that unknown woman and the attempted abduction.
“I don’t know if it was her directly, but in my heart feel, 100%, that she definitely is connected,” Pamer said.
Rittman Police Chief Ray Arcuri told 19 news that the department is investigating and suggests that everyone in Rittman, especially those with children, remain vigilant and alert.