Mother of DeKalb toddler hopes alleged kidnapper can turn his life around

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A DeKalb County mother says she found blessings after police say a teen kidnapped her baby.

“It’s made my family closer,” Elizabeth Grisby told Channel 2′s Sophia Choi. “She survived for a reason. And I’m just grateful for that.”

She’s grateful that a Good Samaritan found her 18 month old daughter, Royalty, on a porch in Lithonia 12 long hours after police say a 14-year-old kidnapped her in March.

Police charged the teen, Malachai Richardson, as an adult for kidnapping and theft by taking. Officers said Richardson lured Grisby to a Stone Mountain home by posing as a fake Door Dash customer.

They said the teen took off in the family SUV, with Royalty in the back. Grisby said it shook her to find out a teenager did the crime.

“I never had thoughts like that at 14. To steal a car, to set anybody up,” she said.

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The mother told Choi that Richardson needs to face charges for what he did.

“Because he’s old enough to understand right from wrong. And then the fact that you went through and made a whole new fake door dash account, ordered food, had tags and everything else...it was something you thought about — or maybe even done before,” Grisby said.

“I’m glad my daughter’s OK, but I hope that he learns from this. He’s young, so he has a chance to change his life around.”

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Grisby’s life has changed since the ordeal. A GoFundMe page racked up more than $27,000 to help pay for daycare, so Royalty no longer needs to tag along, while she’s working.

Grisby said she’s also culling through some new job offers.

It’s all blessings, she says, and the biggest one of all: her daughter who has no memory of the traumatic day.

“You wouldn’t even think that anything happened, she acts exactly the same” said Grisby. I was thinking the worst. So when they said they found her, I was just ecstatic.”

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