Child found after Amber Alert issued in South Salt Lake, suspect in custody

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SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah – A 3-year-old child was abducted when the car she was inside was stolen in South Salt Lake Wednesday, and after an Amber Alert was issued police reported the girl had been found and is safe; later Wednesday night, police said the suspect had been captured.

abducted cild car foundGary Keller, South Salt Lake Police Department, confirmed around 5:30 p.m. that Bella Martinez had been found and is safe. He said the vehicle has been located. The child and car were found at Mini's Cupcakes at 14 East 800 South.

Richard Chipping, Salt Lake City Police Department, said his department captured the suspect and will turn her over to South Salt Lake police. Chipping confirmed the suspect was in custody around 7 p.m.

According to a press release from South Salt Lake police, the vehicle with the child inside was stolen outside of a 7-Eleven at 287 West 3300 South.

Police said the suspect is a frequent customer at the 7-Eleven. The man driving the car with the child inside pulled up to the store, and at that time the suspect rode up on a bicycle and asked that man for a cigarette, which he gave her. He went inside the store, and when he returned the car and child were gone.

"Suspect walks up to him, asks for a smoke, he's cordial to her, hands her a cigarette, walks into the store," Keller said. "Unfortunately he left his vehicle running. The suspect was seen leaving in the car, eastbound from this location... This probably took a matter of seconds for this vehicle and child to go missing."

Rosealee Marie Key mugshotThe suspect is identified as Rosealee Marie Key. Keller said the suspect did not know the man she stole the car from, and Keller said it appears that this was a crime of opportunity.

Leslie Fiet owns Mini's Cupcakes, and she was the one who spotted the vehicle and then the child.

"I got the Amber Alert on my phone," she said. "I remember seeing a black vehicle that had been sitting there a while."

After seeing the car, she went out to take a closer look. She saw the missing child through the vehicle's open window.

"I just reached into the window and took her out of her car seat" she said.

Fiet then took the child into the business and locked the door behind her. She said she gave the child her Care Bear to hold and read a book to calm her down as they waited for her parents.

Fiet said she never expected to find herself in a situation like this one: "No, never. Stuff like that doesn't happen to normal people, right? I guess it does, maybe it does."

52 comments

  • lisa

    Regarding the story about the car that was stolen with the little girl, do they plan on charging the father with child endangerment? I thought it was not legal, or too smart to leave a child in a running car, even for a second.

    • Scott

      You’re right, it certainly was not smart. But lets look at it for what it is: a screw up. Not a criminal act. The criminal justice system is out of control, and advocating criminal penalties for things like this is only leading us further down that path.

      • graceherald

        I agree with you Scott, it was not smart, and this father should be thanking God that his child was found and found alive! The criminal is the one who took the car with the child, not matter the reason!!! Charge the person who commits the crime, the father has been punished by his own foolish action!

      • Steve

        You don’t leave your child in the car unattended BECAUSE stuff like this happens. It was a crime of opportunity. If he had NOT left his child in the car, AND if he had NOT left the car running, the woman would NOT have stolen it and the baby.

      • Lionel

        I do still think father needs to be asked a responsibility for such happening. He needs to be charged at least lightly not for criminal justice, but for the prevention of possible tragedy. People should learn to be smarter. If not taken care of, it will happen again, and it does not always end pretty.

    • Maria

      People do it all the time for a quick second ….. duh don’t you think the father has been through enough!?!?!?!!! He’s a good father one of the best that I know !

      • Steve

        Maria, It was not a “quick second”. It takes several seconds to even get out of the car. Just the fact that a stranger approached him as he was getting out of the car would be reason enough to protect his child by taking her in the store with him. It only takes a few brief seconds for someone to get in the car and drive away. Even if he was standing at the counter and seen someone approach his car, he would not be able to get out of the store in time to prevent someone from driving away with his car AND HIS CHILD! Even if the car was not running and the keys were left in it, someone could start the car and steal his car AND HIS CHILD before he could get out the door to stop them. If he is one of the “best fathers you know”, I really feel sorry for the children of your friends and family.

  • Giovona Ralphs

    I’m happy she was found. But why in the hell did herdad leave her in the car alone. Its pure lazziness he should have known better. Never leave your child in a car ever. He is just lucky that nothing bad happened to her

  • jane do

    What upsets me is the cops. I was there at the seen and no joke it was like a cop party. At least 20 cops at the cup cake shop. Ok if u have a kidnapper at large why are u here go find the crack head. #taxdollarsatwork

    • John

      Did you stop to think that the suspect was still at large and they were looking for her? The whole area was a crime scene. They needed to block it off and have all those cops. Thanks to a good citizen and a good police response, the child is ok and the suspect behind bars!

  • jordyn

    Yes it was wrong for that girl to steal this man’s car but the problem is the dad shouldn’t have left his child in the car in the first place if anything would have happened to his child it would have been his fault for making that choice to leave his child unattended in the car. Also if ur gonna make that stupid choice as a parent then ur willing to take the chance of this happening or even worse what if a stupid drunk driver came flying in the parking lot an smashed into his car with his poor child in there anything could happen in a blink of an eye so as a parent myself I blame the dad because I sure as he’ll have never an will never leave my son in the car while I run in some where for a second because I could never live with myself if anything happened to him because I made the horrible choice of leaving him in the car my point is it’s the father’s fault !

    • Sam

      That’s a great thing to teach our society: if you commit a crime (well actually two: kidnapping and auto theft), it doesn’t matter as long as someone else gave you the opportunity to do it. Imagine that defense in court, “well yeah I did steal the guys car but I mean come on – he left the keys in it. What was I supposed to do?”

      Should the father have left the car running? No. Does that in any way change the fact that the thief was the real criminal? No. Not one bit. Don’t make the victim out to be the bad guy.

    • Don

      Seriously Jordyn, and everyone who blames the Dad. You’re insane! please everyone, be afraid, be very afraid!!! Because unless you are constantly with your kids every minute, you’re a BAD Parent, because your kid WILL DIE somehow, and it will be YOUR fault!

      I mean, come on!

      I think people who sit smugly behind a screen, and make stupid damning judgments of people they don’t know are the real criminals!!! (Oh, wait, that’s me! 🙂

  • Christine

    Take your meds jane do. It doesn’t matter what the police do, somehow, someone will find fault. Yourself included.

  • Cathy

    The main problem is not the dad leaving the child in the car…the problem is the person who decided to steal the car! Unfortunately the dad made a really poor decision leaving the child in the car. I’m glad the child was found safe…..the woman who was observant enough to find the child deserves a medal 🙂 but why does this fall back on comments about the police supposedly not doing their job? If there were 20 cops there (probably an exaggeration) how many do you think we’re actually out looking for the child? My guess….many more than 20! But then the person who made that comment wouldn’t know that because they are only concerned about how many they saw. This is getting old!

    • Trevor

      Same here. Galaxy S5. First Amber Alert. Surprised I never got one before this on my older Galaxy. Wife and I looked at our phones at the same time and were stunned for a bit. Cool to see it in action.

  • Forest from the trees

    So is the criminal male or female? I can’t tell. And why didn’t Ben Winslow get this news story? His awesome hair would’ve added extra flair to the story itself.

  • Cheryl

    Leaving a child in a car that is running in front of a 7-11 is stupid!! The dad should be arrested, if he is too lazy to take his kid out of the car than he should not have kids!

  • RegularJoe

    I’m hoping the man driving the car with the child in it is charged as well. Who leaves their kid in the car with the keys in and motor running? Bad parents, that’s who.

  • Barb

    Oh, Lord. These folks have got to add a lunatic button for commenters to identify themselves. Yes – the Dad was an idiot for leaving a child alone in a vehicle, let alone one that was running. Yes, it’s great the the child was recovered and the suspect in custody. Yes, the Dad should be prosecuted for child endangerment and ordered to reimburse the taxpayers for the costs of all those cops and doughnuts. @My Ka Qu Ee – you have dropped the ball. Your buddy needs some kind of help – and quickly.

  • Bonnie Williams

    Who in the day leaves a car running with a child inside? Who does this? What young parent of a young child doesn’t know this? Doesn’t hear about people jumping into cars and stealing them the second you leave your car? Again, who does not know this? It’s all across the nation, the awareness of these incidents happening over and over. It’s profoundly incredulous the outcome was as positive for the family; and most importantly for the child herself. What a legacy to give a young child.

    • JB

      Not to mention the damage a 3-year-old could do if she got out of her car seat and into the driver’s seat. I wouldn’t trust my kids in a running car … especially knowing that my husband, at about 4 years old, drove his father’s truck through the front of a business because he was left in it while it was running.

  • Connie

    What I like was the Amber alert was send to any phone all my friends have the same text that way everyone can look for this little one. Bravo for this probably if we continue with this text alert we can save more kids. Hope also they get the person who did this soon.

  • Giovanni

    Whaaaaaat??
    Should Rosealee is not African American? Or Hispanic? But wait the missing girl was Hispanic,
    Ha…what should happen to the white she?

  • ANOTHERBOB

    Rosealee Marie Key is one really screwed up female. What’s with the scribble marks in permanent ink on the right side of her neck?

  • Chlovery

    The dad is very lucky his little girl was found safe. I remember in school, before I even had or wanted kids, they taught us some things about parenthood. Never shake a baby, never leave a child unattended in the bath, and never leave a child unattended in the car. If I was learning that as a teenager, why didn’t this father know that? Everyone thinks “it will never happen to me.” It can happen to anyone who puts themselves in that situation. To the people who thinks it’s not the fathers fault, part of it is. He didn’t choose to have his car stolen, but he DID choose to leave his daughter in a car(with the keys in it!) I’m not saying legal action should be taken against him, but as a father, he should be more careful and thankful.

  • Mimi

    I was praying the child would be found safe, I’m so glad she was. I hope the father will be cited too for leaving the child in the car with it running.

  • BroC

    I believe there are deeper issues here then someone stealing a car running with a child strapped in a baby car seat, pictures are a thousand words, and the suspect she/he shows there must be conflict in their identity. One would be left to think there are some mental anguish/ disease involved here.

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