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Toddler ‘kidnapped’ from stolen SUV reunited with mom by two Good Samaritans, GoFundMe to pay mom for daycare

Donnie Howell and Michael Thomas ditched their plans for the day to search for Royalty
UPDATED MAR 19, 2021
Royalty Grisby (DeKalb County Police Dept)
Royalty Grisby (DeKalb County Police Dept)

Royalty Grisby, the missing toddler from Georgia, who was in the backseat of her mother's stolen Nissan SUV, has been found and reunited with her family. She was found by two local Good Samaritans Donnie Howell and Michael Thomas who volunteered to search for her.

The girl was kidnapped with the stolen car while her mother was making an Uber food delivery around 1:57 am. DeKalb County Police in Georgia had issued an Amber Alert on Thursday, March 18, 2021, after the one-year-old girl went missing from a stolen car near Stone Mountain area. 

The mother Elizabeth Grisby had left the engine running and went to a nearby house for dropping the food package when two suspects drove away with the car with Royalty inside it. However, more shockingly, the car was later found abandoned in DeKalb County but there is still no trace of Royalty. Upon the declaration of the Amber Alert, local residents have taken to social media to spread the word about Royalty's alleged kidnapping and are urging everyone to contact the police or the child's mother in case they have any helpful information.


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Royalty Grisby (Facebook/Elizabeth Grisby)

How did Royalty go missing?

In the early morning hours of Thursday, Royalty's mother Elizabeth Grisby was driving a maroon 2010 Nissan Armada with the Georgia License plate number RWW4748, with her one-year-old baby seated inside. Elizabeth, who works as a food delivery agent with Uber Eats, stopped at 1207 Harvest Dale Court in Stone Mountain area for making a delivery.

As Royalty waited for her mother alone inside the car, within a few minutes two suspects hijacked the vehicle and drove away with the one-year-old. The frantic mother, who had the car keys in her pockets, failed to reach back to the car before the goons took off. 

Royalty with her mother (Facebook/Elizabeth Grisby)

Hours later, around 9 am, the SUV was seen abandoned in Lithonia, a nearby locality off Young Road, but there was no sign of Royalty anywhere. DeKalb County police are continuing their search for any clue leading to the toddler. Meanwhile, the family and friends of Elizabeth Grisby have come forward to help reunite her with her missing child. 

"I just want my baby home. You can take her to the hospital, take her to a store, just bring her home. I don’t care about anything with the car. I just want my baby back," an emotional Elizabeth Grisby said in a press conference, reports WSB-TV. DeKalb Police are now looking for 14-year-old suspect Malachi Richardson in connection with the kidnapping of the 1-year-old. 


How to identify Royalty Grisby?

The Facebook profile of Elizabeth Grisby shows her to be a native of Greenville, Texas who is currently residing in Atlanta. At the time of Royalty's disappearance, she was on active delivery duty with Uber Eats. 

The police have described Royalty to be around 2'8" tall and weighing 36 pounds approximately. At the time of the 'kidnapping', she was wearing a purple shirt and a pair of purple pants, with white and pink socks. 


Well-wishers have also appealed on Facebook to contact Elizabeth Grisby with any relevant information about Royalty's whereabouts. "I know this sweet baby uf ANYONE SEE ANYTHING OR KNOW ANYTHING PLEASE CONTACT Elizabeth Grisby," a certain Debbie Smith wrote on Facebook.


"This is awful! I’m praying for that baby and her poor Mama. I can’t imagine what she’s going through," a user expressed their concern on Twitter. Another prayed, "I’m praying that baby Angel is safe and will be safely returned to her family ASAP."



Who are Donnie Howell and Michael Thomas?

"My window was down, no music was playing, I got about right there to the cone, and she was screaming," Donnie Howell shared about how he and Thomas found Royalty - which has been dubbed a modern-day miracle. 

After police issued Amber Alert for Royalty Grisby, Hampton residents Donnie Howell and Michael Thomas decided to volunteer for her search and bring her back to her mother. Donnie revealed how the entire incident was heart-touching for him since he has a younger niece. 

The duo drove for over an hour from Hampton to help in Royalty's search. They suddenly heard her cries on the front porch of a house down Stoneleigh Hill Road. 

“I knew when she screamed I just felt like God was telling me that was her so I stormed up to the porch and I seen her crying and then once I got close enough to where she knew she was safe, like the tears was just gone, it was like she almost wanted to smile of joy, you know it was a heartwarming moment,” Donnie revealed about the emotional moment he discovered Royalty. 

Soon, the little girl was reunited with her mother. Now GoFundMe has launched a fundraiser for Royalty's mother Elizabeth Grisby to support her for daycare expenses, so that she does not need to take her child with her everywhere while working. The fundraiser started with a goal of $2,500 has already surpassed $14,000 in donations.