Jeremy Hayes, his wife and infant son were returning to Virginia Saturday when they made a stop at a CVS drug store in Greenville.
When Hayes returned from the store, the family vehicle and his wife and son were gone. Hayes called police.
A moment earlier, Greenville police got a call from an eyewitness.
"The caller stated that he had seen a black male shove a white female into the back seat of a vehicle that was parked in the parking lot of a local pharmacy," says Melissa Bartlett of the Greenville Police Department.
Greenville police activated a statewide hunt for the car, Ginger Hayes, and her son, Nicholas.
An ATM transaction at a Food Lion led authorities to Rocky Mount, and police saw the suspect on videotape.
"(The tape showed a) black male, white female coming through the line at Food Lion and being waited on by a cashier there," says Sgt. W.G. Sikes of the Rocky Mount Police Department.
But it was too late. C.D. Thompson, who lived nearby, found Ginger Hayes dead in the field. When he later saw a baby in the field, Thompson wondered if he was still alive.
"As soon as the deputy came around the corner, I heard him yell out, 'The baby is alive.' I was very relieved," he says.
Rocky Mount police arrested Andre Edwards, 31, of Rocky Mount and charged him with first-degree murder, attempted murder, and robbery.
The boy has been reunited with his father in Virginia and is recovering from dehydration and sunburn.
Edwards is being held in Nash County jail without bail. Police say Edwards has been convicted of dozens of charges since 1987, including larceny, assault, and carrying a concealed weapon.
Edwards is expected to make his first court appearanceTuesday.
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