NORTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- A family was reunited with a 4-year-old boy after he was inside a car that was stolen from a north St. Louis City gas station Monday morning.
Police said 4-year-old Diontre Evans was with his father at the Moto Mart gas station on Riverview Drive near Interstate 270 around 12:30 a.m. When the boy's father went inside the store, a group of men jumped into his gray Pontiac G8 and drove off with the child inside.
Diontre's grandmother, Jacqueline Jackson, said the 4-year-old was sleeping in the backseat.
A witness who saw the carjacking tried to chase after the car on Interstate 270 but lost track of it.
"There was four guys sitting in a car and my son thought they were about to try to do something. So when we walked back to the car, we locked the doors," they said. "One of the guys got out of the backseat with a powder blue hoodie on and white jeans walked up like he was going into the store. As I was backing up, the car took off. He hopped on the highway. The man came screaming out of the store that they stole his car."
While St. Louis City police officers were working to find the stolen car, Diontre's family tried to track the father's phone that was left inside.
"Please have a heart and drop him off at the gas station or somewhere, just please, because I know he's crying," Jackson said. "He's going to continue. He's not going to stop until he gets to his momma because that's how he is, please."
Around 4 a.m., the family told News 4 Diontre was found safe inside the Pontiac near the 9700 block of Chambers Road, just five miles from the gas station.
"The officer said he was in the backseat, knocked out sleeping, he saw him, he picked him up and he just grabbed his neck real tight and he just held on to him," Jackson said.
Jackson is grateful that officers were able to find her grandson but she is questioning why an AMBER Alert wasn't issued.
"I'm mad, because for three hours and 45 minutes, a 4-year-old was missing and there was not an AMBER alert," Jackson said. "Why didn't his life matter? Why didn't his life count?"
No additional information has been released about the incident.