COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo - The hunt for a man and a stolen child crossed state lines and ended in Colorado Springs Thursday. Police took Gregory Sturdivant, 24, into custody and put him behind bars.
The arrest involved his 19-month-old son, Alecxavien Zapata. The child was living in Corpus Christi, Texas, with his mother.
The toddler was returned to his mother, Sabrina Louise Zapata, in Texas. She hadn't seen her son since he was taken in January.
"It's just so surreal," said Zapata.
On Wednesday night, someone called police after seeing Alecxavien's face on the news. Police went to a Colorado Springs home near Pikes Peak Avenue and Chelton Road around 10:30 p.m. Police said they found the child, but Sturdivant got away.
"I prayed that he was with people that knew what they were doing and once they learned the truth that they would open their heart and that they would do the right thing," said Zapata. "And it happened."
Police say the child was unharmed and appeared well-cared for.
The hunt for Sturdivant ended in downtown Colorado Springs near Colorado Avenue and Cascade Avenue. Police took him into custody around 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
This isn't Sturdivant's first run-in with the law. The man has theft, possession of marijuana and failure to surrender a child charges on his rap sheet from Texas.
Sturdivant may have been living in Colorado Springs for some time. A University of Colorado Colorado Springs police officer talked to Sturdivant two months ago on campus. He asked a UCCS police officer for information on how to enroll and about its family assistance program.
Sturdivant will be extradited to Texas, where he faces felony charges related to Alecxavien's kidnapping.