Two people have been arrested after three children were abducted outside a Miami market, including the woman who drove off with them, Miami Police said.
Velan Verdier, 33, of Miami Beach has been charged with three counts each of kidnapping, false imprisonment of a child and child neglect, and one count each of grand theft auto and robbery by sudden snatching, police said.
The father and uncle of the three kids, who left them inside a car when he stopped at the St. Jacques Market at 125 NW 62nd St., was also arrested, police said. Anthony Milhomme, 34, of 501 NE 68th St. in Miami was charged with one count each of child neglect and resisting arrest without violence, said police, who initially released somewhat different charges for the two suspects.
Milhomme stated that he left the children unattended for two minutes, but he actually left them alone for 15 minutes, according to police.
The three children – siblings Anthony Milhomme, 6, and Kaila Milhomme, 5, and their cousin, Isaiah Paul, 6 – were later located at NW 58th Street and 1st Avenue, police said.
The three kids were quickly reunited with family members.
“It's just the worst feeling in the world, not to know who (has) your kids, where your kids are," said Sharonda Scott, the mother of the Milhomme siblings.
The father picked up his son, daughter and nephew from the Morningside K-8 Academy at 6620 NE 5th Ave. on Monday afternoon, police said.
He drove and stopped at the market, leaving the engine running as he went inside to handle a personal errand. That is when Verdier took the gray 2005 Ford 500 with license plate BIQP43 with the kids inside, police said.
The driver was found after police received a Good Samaritan tip, and was pulled over at about 4:40 p.m., police said. They learned that she had taken $5 by force from one of the scared and helpless children, police added.
“The lady got in the car. That’s when she drove off – that's when she said, 'Give me the five dollars,'” Kaila Milhomme said.
Verdier also told her that she is pretty, the girl said.
It was not immediately known whether Verdier or the Milhomme father have an attorney.
Miami Police ask anyone with information on the case to call their Robbery Unit at 305-603-6370.
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