CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 19-year-old woman is charged with kidnapping after Corpus Christi police say she left a Walmart store with three children that weren’t hers.
Authorities were dispatched to a Walmart store, located in the 4100 block of S. Staples, around 6 p.m. Saturday. Officers were notified that the three children — a 2-year-old male, 2-year-old female and a 4-year-old female — and the woman, Helen Alvarez, were missing.
Alvarez was an acquaintance of the children’s mother, and police say she left the store with the children without their mother’s consent.
The children’s mother told police Alvarez offered to help her with the children as she was finalizing her purchase. However, when the mother was done, she realized her children and Alvarez had disappeared, according to officials.
Officers began canvassing the area of the Walmart store, and they reviewed surveillance footage and several possible sightings of the group.
Around 9:15 p.m., police said they spotted Alvarez and the three children walking near SPID and Ennis Joslin. The group was then taken to the main police station, where the children were reunited with their mother, according to police.
Alvarez was arrested and charged with kidnapping. She was taken to the city’s detention center for processing, officials said.