PEORIA, AZ — The father accused of kidnapping a 10-month-old child -- prompting a statewide AMBER Alert earlier this week -- now faces a charge of first-degree murder, among other charges, in the death of the child's mother, after he reportedly told police officers that he intended to hurt her.
Eric Maes, who is the boy's father but does not have custodial rights, took the child from the boy's mother, Brittany Martie, on Tuesday as she was loading the child into her minivan, police said. That prompted a local search and eventually a statewide AMBER Alert.
The boy's mother was injured trying to save her son and was taken to the hospital on Tuesday where she died, police said. The boy was found safe on Wednesday and Maes was found and arrested several hours later.
In newly-released court documents, family members told police that they were babysitting the child and wouldn't let Maes see him because he did not have custodial rights.
Maes told police that he and Martie previously got into an argument and that he knew when she would be home with her son. He told police that waited at the house to pick the child up, documents state. He also reportedly admitted to police that he intended to take the child and jumped in the van with the boy and Martie inside.
He told police that Martie jumped out of the vehicle while it was traveling between 30-40 mph. He told police that he turned the vehicle around and hit the mother with the intent to hurt her. She was standing on the sidewalk, the documents stated.
Witnesses reportedly told police that they heard a woman yelling "stop" and "help" from the vehicle.
Maes also admitted to using methamphetamine for the last two years, including on the day of the alleged kidnapping.
Peoria Police held a press conference on Thursday. You can watch it below.
According to court documents, a friend of Maes told police that she received a phone call from him. He reportedly told her that he had the child and wanted to meet her at a gas station to drop off the child.
He said that if any police officers showed up, he would consider a suicide-by-cop scenario, according to the documents.
Police officers searched the area and did not find the child, but found the van nearby. They spotted blood and handprints on the van's hood.
Early Wednesday morning, police located the child in the area of 19th Avenue and Cactus Road. The child was in good condition, documents said.
MCSO said after Maes was taken into custody, he attempted suicide and was taken to a hospital for treatment.