A New Jersey mom received the scare of a lifetime when her husband told her their car had disappeared, along with their 1-year-old daughter, who was inside the vehicle.
Noel Saldana was at work on Feb. 12, 2020, when her husband called to let her know their Acura minivan was missing from in front of their East Orange apartment, she told NBC New York. He had gone inside to grab his daughter Hannah’s bottle and came back out just minutes later, to see the car was missing. In that short period, a Kruse Towing repo man hauled the vehicle away.
Noel’s husband called the police, while she called the bank that held the title to the car. (She admitted to being late on car payments.) She said she made one stop on her way home, to say a prayer for her daughter. At that time, she got a call from a policeman notifying her that Hannah had been taken to a nearby hospital.
Police said Hannah spent about 45 minutes in the car at an impound lot before police were able to track the vehicle down and return her safely to the hospital, where her mother retrieved her.
“Hindsight is 20/20, we know now that is not the correct thing to do, as parents or anybody who’s caring for children obviously,” Noel told NBC New York.
While Noel doesn’t put all of the blame on Kruse Towing, she notes that there was more both parties could’ve done—and she’s vowed to make sure her children are never left alone in the car again. She also said she was preparing to make the car payment the day the incident occurred.
“It would be in their best interest to check going forward because this happened. It’s not their fault, but they do need to check,” Noel said. “It happened, unfortunately. I’m not excusing it, I’m owning it.”