Ben Russell, NBC 5 News
The father of Maliyah Vergenz is happy to have his daughter home safe after police said she was taken by her babysitter, prompting an Amber Alert.
Anthony Vergenz is relieved to have his 2-year-old daughter, Maliyah, home safe, and the person accused of taking her behind bars.
Vergenz said he first knew something was wrong as soon as he called Maliyah's babysitter, Patricia Garcia.
"I made a phone call to Patricia let her know to go ahead and meet me to pick up my daughter and what was said strictly from her was, if I wanted to see my daughter again I gotta call the Garland Police Department," said Vergenz. "Supposedly they wanted to talk to me."
Vergenz called the Garland police, which prompting an Amber Alert for the little girl who was now believed to be in danger.
Vergenz said he didn't have any inkling something like this could ever happen, but should have trusted his instincts after a recent phone call.
"She (Patricia) mentioned a week ago to me and my fiance if something were to happen to me or her she wanted to take strict care of Maliyah," said Vergenz. "Which, you know, to hear somebody say that out of the blue, it kinda startled me a little bit when I laid my head down at night."
Police said they found Garcia and the toddler after Terrell police spotted Garcia's 1998 Chrysler Cirrus in the parking lot of the Villager Motel at U.S. Highway 80 and Spur 557.
Officers took Garcia into custody without incident.
Maliyah was determined to be in good condition and was returned to her father.
Garland police they were concerned for Vargenz's safety because Garcia was distraught over the recent loss of a pregnancy and was refusing to return home with the little girl.
"If you're asking me if I ever thought this would happen, 'No,'" said Vergenz. "But I should have went with my gut instinct on that feeling."
Garcia is in the Dallas County Jail charged with kidnapping.