A frantic day of searching and waiting for the Kozaczek family is finally over.
Baby Gaebria is safe after her mother, 28-year-old Cheryl Kozaczek, took her at about 1 a.m. Wednesday from their Woodmont Street home in Westfield, put her in their pickup truck and drove off.
"A lot of relief that they're safe, things have gone in a favorable direction," said Michael Kozaczek, Cheryl Kozaczek's father.
The disappearance of the two sparked an Amber alert, activating local and state police.
Hours later, after tracking Cheryl Kozaczek's cell phone, Virginia State Police pulled her over on I-95 South in the town of Emporia. Virginia police say Cheryl Kozaczek was cooperative and Gaebria was unharmed.
"The child seems to be in excellent condition; playful, eating, just a joyful child," said Sgt. Ron Posey with the Virginia State Police.
Kozaczek was arrested for kidnapping and larceny of a motor vehicle.
She hasn't had legal custody of Gaebria and the two had been living with Cheryl Kozaczek's parents in their Westfield home.
Cheryl Kozaczek's dad says a looming custody hearing is probably what sparked his daughter to take off.
"She was very afraid she was going to lose the baby so she made this decision, it wasn't the right decision to load everything up in the Toyota and take off," he said.
Hours after reporting her missing, Gaebria's legal guardian and grandmother pleaded for a safe return.
"Cheryl, if you hear me, please come home, please bring Gaebria back, everything will be ok and we love you," Katheryn Kozaczek said.
Cheryl Kozaczek's parents say their daughter has had mental conditions that have kept her from having custody of Gaebria.
Now they're hoping that after Wednesday, she'll get the treatment she needs.
"I hope things go more favorably in the direction of getting her help," Michael Kozaczek said.
Gaebria is in the hands of social services in Virginia until arrangements can be made here.
There is another custody hearing on Monday. Gaebria's grandparents are hoping to regain custody.
Copyright 2012 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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