A Lakeland family is holding their kids a little tighter after police said a homeless woman snatched them from a park.
It happened at Parker Street Park in Lakeland. Police say 32-year-old Crystal Kinder lured the children from the park on Monday afternoon.
Kemesha Moultrie’s 5-year-old daughter and her 3-year-old cousin were the victims.
“She lured them. She offered my baby some juice,” Moultrie said. “She offered them McDonald's and by them being kids they said yes.”
Moultrie said as soon as she noticed the kids were missing, she and other family members hit the streets, desperately trying to find the kids.
Keith Campbell said he wasn’t stopping until he found his cousins.
“I put on my shoes and took off running down the street, asking people had they seen a woman walking with two kids,” Campbell said.
A motel parking lot on Memorial Boulevard located about 10 minutes away from the park is where police say Kinder traveled with the children. It’s the same spot Campbell said he found them and was able to return them home safely, but not before saying a few words to the homeless woman who walked off with the young children.
“I said, 'You must be crazy, you’re insane if you think you can just take people's kids from the park and take them for a walk,' ” Campbell said.
Kinder is now behind bars facing kidnapping charges. In an arrest report, she said she was planning to teach the kids to steal and live on the streets because they were unattended in the park.
Moultrie said her family lives directly in front of the park and the kids were never left alone, but somehow the kids were taken and she wants to make sure it never happens again.
“I never expected this to happen to my daughter, and now that it happened to me, I know that I’m not exempt," she said. "It can happen to anybody. She’s not playing in any more parks."
Both parents say they don’t know the suspect and had never seen her near the park.