LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A Lafayette woman arrested Wednesday has been officially charged after she allegedly stole a car, kidnapped a 2-year-old child and hit the child's mother with a car, according to police. Jessilyn Gardiner faces charges of kidnapping, criminal confinement, auto theft, and criminal recklessness.
Lafayette police were called to the 900 block of N. 10th Street Wednesday night for a report of child abduction and car theft. Police said Stephanie Brooke had been living with Jessilyn Gardiner for a few days. The two began arguing after Gardiner wanted a ride from Brooke.
Police said Brooke eventually agreed and she put her 2-year-old daughter in the car. Brooke then changed her mind about the ride and as she was getting out of the car to get her daughter, Gardiner hopped into the driver's seat, hit Brooke, then drove away.
While LPD was speaking with Brooke, the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Office got a call about a woman who could be suicidal at a home on South River Road. Police said Gardiner's father was the one who called and there was a child in the back seat of the car.
LPD and sheriff's deputies arrived at the home and found the 2-year-old in the car, but didn't find Gardiner. Police said she was later found by a sheriff's office K9 unit.