RITTMAN, Ohio — A nightmare unfolded for a young Rittman couple Saturday morning. The new parents are still so shook up, News 5 is not using their names or showing their faces.
“I was scared, angry, depressed all in that one moment,“ explained the dad.
Their seven-month-old son was gone. His wife screaming, “Zeke is gone, Zeke is gone,” he explained.
The family had just come home, the baby fell asleep in his car seat. The parents put him on the sofa still strapped in his car seat.
Police said mom went to take a shower, dad to take a nap.
That’s when he heard the family dog barking outside, it happens often. He didn’t think much of it until, “my wife went downstairs and I heard her screaming,” he explained.
The baby and the car seat gone.
That set off a panic. Police, the couple and their family members all began searching for the little boy. The baby was discovered inside the basement near the door.
“He was tipped on his side,” said dad. Outside, the dog had his leash tangled. “I think my dog greeted that person and scared them,” he explained.
As police investigated, the couple mentioned about a month ago a woman claiming to be from Wayne County Children Services came to their door.
Mom answered the door with the baby. The woman told her someone had filed a complaint about the couple. Rittman Police Chief Ray Arcuri said they discovered there was never a complaint filed.
Soon, more disturbing details started to emerge.
“A couple doors down from her, there was a female and male posing as child workers as well. So, now we’re really concerned someone is out there pulling a scam,” said Arcuri.
Two doors down, there is a mother of five; her youngest just a toddler. Tracy Cramer and her sister-in-law were at home with the kids when they got a knock on the door. A man and woman said they were from children services and were there because someone filed a complaint and demanded to be let in.
“I heard them saying something about kids being abused, I said don’t let them come in here, “ said Alicia Cramer.
“When police told us what was going on. I said oh my God, that just happened to me,” said Tracy Cramer.
Just hours later the attempted abduction happened.
The family is now convinced there’s a connection between that unknown woman and the attempted abduction of their son. They also believe their dog saved their son.
Police have increased patrols in the area. They’re asking residents to call them if they notice anything suspicious.