An Arizona fuel station clerk told 911 dispatchers that she sensed something "really weird" about an older woman who entered the store Wednesday with a baby, later determined to be the subject of an Amber Alert search that began in Southern California.
The 911 call by Karin Akins led authorities to 6-month-old Laylani Mosely and her 57-year-old grandmother, Carolyn Ferguson, reported missing by Southern California family members earlier Wednesday. Ferguson was charged with child stealing and is in custody in Arizona awaiting extradition to California.
On audio of the 911 call released Thursday, Akins can be heard listing a number of things she found odd about the pair -- suspicions raised by her instincts as a mother.
"She just seems really out of it," Akins is heard saying in the Wednesday evening emergency call. "I’m a mom, so I freak out."
Akins noticed Ferguson was acting strangely and stalled the woman by talking to her and changing the baby’s diaper before calling authorities. Akins said in her 911 call that Ferguson was "acting really weird" and could not tell her the baby’s middle name. The baby was also wearing oversized diapers, Akins said.
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"It’s not her mom," she said in the call. "She can’t tell me anything about the baby. My gut just doesn’t feel right."
Akins said Ferguson did not have baby formula, and she got cappuccino to give to the child in her strawberry milk.
She sensed something was wrong, but did not realize the magnitude of the situation until her boss texted her a photo and informed her of the Amber Alert.
"My boss is texting me a picture of the woman and the baby. I'm pretty sure...it's the Amber Alert," she told the dispatcher. "I'm shaking, I'm so nervous."
Mosely’s family reported that Ferguson had been "talking about the end of the world and seemingly deteriorating in recent days," Huntington Beach police said Thursday. They were found by authorities at the gas station in Arizona’s Maricopa County, about 300 miles away from Huntington Beach where they were last seen, within hours after the Amber Alert was issued.
The child was reunited with her mother late Wednesday night, Huntington Beach police said.
Ferguson has a history of mental illness and recently stopped taking her medication, authorities said. She was brought to the gas station Wednesday evening by a mobile mechanic when her PT Cruiser become disabled along Interstate 10 in Arizona.