GREENSBORO — Days after a baby girl was found safe in a stolen vehicle, the child’s mother talked about the traumatizing experience on Wednesday — and defended her fitness as a parent.
That’s been called into question after it was revealed that, when 5-month-old Nora Grant was taken, she was left alone in the car.
The troubling incident — a parent’s worst nightmare — occurred Friday night around 9:30 p.m. That’s when the unsettling tone associated with an Amber Alert sounded over smartphones throughout the area. A 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan with baby Nora inside was stolen from a Marathon gas station in Greensboro.
Nora and the vehicle weren’t found until 6:30 a.m. the next day outside an apartment complex in Winston-Salem.
During a press conference at the Greensboro Police Department on Wednesday evening, a tearful Tanesha McCray held baby Nora close to her chest and recounted the moment she was reunited her daughter.
“It was amazing,” McCray said. “It was like a breath of fresh air, you know? I mean, I can’t describe it.”
Alongside McCray at the press conference was Irish Spencer, leader of the group Families Against Senseless Killing. Spencer, acting as an advocate for McCray, stepped in to tell parts of McCray’s story when the mother became too emotional to continue speaking.
Before judging McCray, Spencer said, the public needs to better understand the circumstances surrounding Nora’s kidnapping.
Prior to arriving at the gas station, McCray’s house had just been condemned.
“The porch collapsed,” Spencer explained.
Family quickly found a truck, loaded belongings and departed.
According to Spencer, McCray went to the gas station and pulled her car up to the curb, near the front door. With another daughter in tow, a 3-year-old, she stepped up to the door and opened it.
“Her car is right there,” Spencer said. “She can almost touch it. The door is open. She’s hollering at someone for directions and this nut comes and jumps in and takes her vehicle.”
The person who stole the car has since been identified as a 15-year-old from Winston-Salem, who was arrested Monday and has since been charged with first-degree kidnapping and larceny of a motor vehicle.
McCray, with Nora asleep against her chest, urged parents to stay vigilant.
“Always be aware of your surroundings,” she said. “For any kid that’s underage — never leave them in the car for a split second,” she said.
Spencer said agencies have contacted McCray, telling her they might have to open investigations into whether or not she’s a “good mother.”
McCray strongly reasserted Wednesday that wouldn’t be necessary.
“I am a good mom,” McCray said. “I am a great mom. A loving mom. And I’m blessed to have two beautiful kids — angels.”
Contact Jamie Biggs at 336-373-4476 and follow @JamieBiggsNR