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Police: Neighbor Asks for Cigarettes, Takes Baby

FAYETTEVILLE, AR -- Police report they have recovered a child who was taken from an apartment Thursday morning.
FAYETTEVILLE, AR -- Police report they have recovered a child who was taken from an apartment Thursday morning.

According to a police report, officers responded to a kidnapping in progress at an apartment on 1189 West End. A woman, Melissa Wilson, reported her neighbor had stolen her car and taken her one-year-old son. She told investigators the suspect, 31-year-old Kelly T. Jendeski, came to her apartment around 4:30 a.m. "rambling incoherently." Wilson told officers she believed he was possibly high on drugs and suicidal and that it sounded like he was trying to talk himself out of hurting anyone.

The report states Wilson wanted to help Jendeski so she called and ambulance, which transported him to Washington Regional Medical Center. When Jendeski was released from the hospital a couple of hours later, he was taken back to West End which is when he went to her apartment. Wilson told police she let him in and went to the back of the apartment to lie down. Jendeski then asked her for cigarettes and she told them they were in her house coat, as were the keys to her car.

When she heard him leave the apartment, she also heard her car being driven off at a high rate of speed. She got up to see what was going on and noticed her one-year-old son was gone.

Sergeant Craig Stout with Fayetteville Police, said they tried to get in touch with Jendeski but could not reach him.

"We had been trying to get in touch with him, he wasn't answering phone calls, and again, he did not have permission to take the child."

Then on Thursday afternoon, a neighbor reported Jendeski was driving the missing car, a black Jeep Compass, toward West End.

"We had an officer behind him on Wedington and we had him lit up as he's pulling in, and then we also blocked it... I don't know for sure whether he was bringing the child back or this just happened, he might have been driving past it and this is just where he happened to stop."

KNWA was at the scene when Jendeski was taken into custody and the child was found in the front passenger seat. Investigators are checking the welfare of the baby to make sure he was not harmed. Jendeski was booked in the Washington County Jail, and is facing charges of Kidnapping, Endangering the Welfare of a Minor, and Theft of Property.

"We're very happy that we were able to resolve this quickly."

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