Police in Somersworth, New Hampshire, have cancelled an Amber Alert issued Thursday night for a missing 18-month-old boy and his 33-year-old father after the man's arrest and locating the unharmed infant.
Malachi Grant's mother thought she'd never see her young son again after he was abducted from their home by Jeremiah Grant. After what she calls 18 hours of pure agony, they were reunited Friday morning.
Stephanie Fall is convinced her baby's father had no intention of keeping him alive.
"I am blessed to be holding my son alive right now and safe," Fall said Friday morning.
Police say Malachi went on a dangerous 120-mile journey from Somersworth to Farmington, Maine, in a stolen car driven by his father with no food, no water and no car seat.
"There were issues with his mental well-being that really, really concerned us," explained Capt. David Kretschmar.
Authorities considered Malachi's father, Jeremiah Grant, to be dangerous and mentally unstable.
Fall says Malachi's father Jeremiah Grant was having a nervous breakdown. She says when he stole Malachi and took off in her car, she thought her little boy was never coming home.
"When your child is missing in a dangerous situation, you are without words to describe the feeling," she said.
Grant is a registered sex offender, convicted of a sexual assault in Dover in 2011.
But Fall says that has nothing to do with this.
"If someone would take the time to look at, it's a Class A misdemeanor," Fall explained. "It's definitely not for raping anybody or touching children, and I'd like to straighten that fact out."
The search set off an Amber Alert just after 9 p.m. Thursday.
Within four hours, authorities in Maine were tipped off to the vehicle's location. They arrested Grant and found Malachi in the backseat.
"A lot of us are dads and moms, so it hits us in a different way when that happens," Capt. Kretschmar said.
Somersworth police say they weren't going home until the little boy was found.
For that, Fall says "thank you" will never be enough.
"They stayed and they weren't stopping until they found my son and I appreciate it very much," Fall said.
She's also thanking the thousands of people who saw the Amber Alert and shared it on social media. She truly believes that's why Malachi is alive.
Police say Grant will face charges in Maine before being extradited to New Hampshire to face additional charges.