Wheelchair-bound and bandaged, Maria Gurrolla, the mother of kidnapped newborn Yair Anthony Carillo, spoke Wednesday afternoon to reporters at Vanderbilt Medical Center about the traumatic events that have set off a national search for the missing child.
After the press conference Metro Police said it was searching for the driver of a dark colored Kia Spectra that appeared to follow Gurrolla as she left a Walmart store on Nolensville Road Tuesday.
“All that I can tell you is I was attacked in my home,” Gurrolla told reporters in Spanish. A cousin, Norma Rodriguez, acted as an interpreter.
Visibly bruised from yesterday’s ordeal, Gurrolla recounted how the unknown robust white woman knocked on her door and identified herself as an immigration officer.
“The only thing that she said was that she was going to arrest her,” Rodriguez said.
Gurrolla and the assailant became involved in the physical struggle. The victim told reporters the woman was not armed when she came into the house, but during the struggle found a small knife already in the residence and turned it on the mother. Gurrolla was stabbed nine times.
At no point did the suspect show any interest in the boy or say she planned on taking him, the mother said. The child was on the sofa during the struggle. Gurrolla fled the scene for help, and when she returned the baby was gone.
Gurrolla said she felt “fine” today physically, but was “sad because of what my family is going through.” The mother struggled back tears as she described her son to the assembled press.
“He's four days old, he has a full head of black hair, he's kind of cubby, big cheeks, big eyes,” she said.
“She needs her baby back,” said Rodriguez.
After Gurrolla was taken back into the hospital, Rodriguez declined to comment on the victim’s immigration status.
As for the Spectra, surveillance video at the Wal-mart store shows Gurrolla pull into the parking lot with her baby as the Kia pulls nearby. The driver of the Kia did not get out of the car but appears to wait for Gurrolla to leave before following her out of the parking lot.
The car appeared to have an out-of-state license plate, said Metro police spokesman Don Aaron.
After receiving a tip Tuesday, police had identified a Lebanon, Tenn., woman as a suspect in the assault and kidnapping. The individual was found in upstate New York, interviewed, and now is no longer a person of interest, according to Metro police spokeswoman Kristin Mumford.
Metro police, TBI and FBI are collaborating on the investigation, according to Mumford.
“Detectives are retracing her steps yesterday, the errands she ran, the TBI is currently with her, interviewing her. Also, a sketch artist is with her,” she said.
Mumford said there are no suspects at this time.