A 30-year-old mom from Arizona has died from sustained injuries in an attempt to save her child from being abducted by his father.
Brittany Marie Martie was reportedly thrown from her own minivan after her son’s father, Eric Maes, 30, hopped in the front seat of the vehicle and drove off with the 10-month-old inside.
Calls from residents began to come in droves around 6:30 p.m. last Tuesday after many reported the same disturbing scene.
A domestic dispute seemed afoot as a woman held onto a vehicle while it sped down the road.
Some witnesses even claimed the mom was on top of the minivan, hanging on to its roof for as long as she could before she was thrown from the vehicle.
Police confirmed that the dispute was between Martie and Maes, who were believed to have ended their relationship.
Martie, (who had started going by her maiden name of Walker), had full custody of their 10-month-old Abel. And as the mother was reportedly loading the baby into her Chrysler minivan outside the home of an acquaintance, Maes showed up, hopped into the driver’s seat, and began to drive away.
Sgt. Amanda Gaines of the Peoria Police Department said by the time officers had arrived, the mother’s injuries were life-threatening, and while Martie was quickly rushed to a hospital — she died in surgery.
Maes and the baby’s location was still unknown at this point. At midnight, the Amber Alert was issued for Abel, and just an hour later, a call came in that the baby had been found at a home in north Phoenix. But when officers arrived at the home around 1 a.m., his father was not present.
Abel had been abandoned on the doorstep of home near 23rd Avenue and 21st Drive, and he was quickly brought in by the homeowner. Thankfully, the baby was in good health. The mother’s stolen minivan was also found less than a mile away from where Abel was left.
A few days later, he was finally caught and promptly charged with one count of manslaughter in the death of Brittany Martie, though police did note that those charges could be added or amended. And according to the latest update from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Maes’ charges now include charges of homicide, theft, assault, and kidnapping.
“She gave this guy so, so, so many chances, more than he deserved,” said Martie’s sister, Trish Faras. “We begged her and begged her and begged her [to] please get away from him and when she finally did listen it was too late.”
“Their mom literally fought for them to the death,” added Juliann Davis, Martie’s cousin. “She was full of life, she was outspoken, she was fun to be around and she told you how it is.”
She leaves behind her 10-month-old son, Abel, and 11-year-old daughter, Prudence, from a previous relationship.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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