ONLY ON FOX5: 9-year-old girl carried baby brother to safety after North Las Vegas kidnapping, mother says

A Las Vegas mother shared her family’s terrifying experience with FOX5 Tuesday, hours after her two children were kidnapped in North Las Vegas.
Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 8:14 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A Las Vegas mother shared her family’s terrifying experience with FOX5 Tuesday, hours after her baby boy and 9-year-old daughter were kidnapped outside a 7-Eleven in North Las Vegas. A man was arrested after the children were found safe.

“I chased after the car until I couldn’t anymore,” said Karen Quinn, a Las Vegas mother of five.

After they stole her car, police said the suspect released the children “somewhere on Decatur,” according to North Las Vegas police. A police pursuit ensued and ended with a crash near the intersection of I-15 and Charleston Boulevard. 38-year-old Mario Estrada, who police say has a suspended license, is facing charges that include kidnapping, child abuse, and grand larceny.

Quinn said she and her children are home safe now, but are still physically sore and mentally shaken from the incident.

It all began at the 7-Eleven on Cheyenne and Decatur near the North Las Vegas Airport just before 8:30 Monday night. Quinn said she needed to use the ATM, so she parked her car right outside the front door, left her two kids in her car with the engine running, locked the door and went into the convenience store.

She said she made eye contact with the suspect, who she described as “bad in spirit” and sitting at a slot machine near the front door. She then watched as he got up and walked over to her car, looking inside. At that point, she started walking back to the car to confront him. That is when the 7-Eleven clerk heard the mother “screaming for her babies,” according to a store employee.

“He opened the [car] door and I tried to grab him, and I grabbed his sweater in the door, and he reversed, and kind of rolled over the top of my foot,” said Quinn. “And I was like, ‘Please, my kids are in the car! Please! My kids are in the car!’ He looked back at my daughter. She was like, ‘Mom! Mom!’”

She continued, “And I was like, please just let them out, you can have the car. Just let them out, let them out!”

Quinn said the man drove away in her car with the two children in the car, and she chased after him on foot.

“He went out the store parking lot, he drove west of Cheyenne until he got to Rancho and he made a right. And I’m running, ‘cause I didn’t call the police at first cause I’m chasing. I’m just like-- I’m going to get this car, I’m going, running, I’m going to get my kids,” said Quinn. She ran for miles down the dark surrounding streets.

The suspect eventually pulled over and let the kids out somewhere on Decatur, then drove out of the area.

Incredibly, the brave 9-year-old girl found her way back to the convenience store with her baby brother in her arms.

“My daughter ran five blocks from the store with my 11-month baby, with no shoes on,” said Quinn.

That is when police shared the news with Quinn that they had located her children.

“And he said, ‘We have your kids.’ And when he said that, I just fell to the ground. I was like, ‘Thank you God, thank you God, thank you.’”

But it didn’t end there. An officer saw the stolen car getting onto the I-15.

That led an officer to pursue the stolen car until the suspect crashed into another car near the intersection of I-15 and Charleston, according to police.

The person in the other car involved in the crash suffered minor injuries and went to the hospital.

After the collision, the suspect fled on foot, but police caught up and took the suspect into custody. No other parties are facing charges in this incident.

Quinn’s mother started a GoFundMe for her daughter to get a new mode of transportation after the incident.