On February 4, Utah residents received an Amber Alert message informing them that Bella Martinez, age 3, had been kidnapped outside a gas station in South Salt Lake Wednesday afternoon.
The young girl’s father had left the car running while he went into the 7-11 convenience store, when it was hijacked- with Bella inside. Soon after, the Amber Alert was issued, instructing people to look for Bella Martinez and a 2010 Black Hyundai Santa Fe.
According to KSL news, this text Amber Alert was “the first of its kind,” being sent to all phones capable of receiving it in the surrounding area.
“I was at the Malt Shop hanging out with my roommates,” said Snow student Jenny Clark, when she received the message. “I wasn’t too worried because I assumed it was just that someone stole a car. So I looked into it to see exactly what it was and found that a little girl had been taken, and then I was worried about it.”
The kidnapper, as stated in the text, was suspected to be Rosalee Marie Key. In the past year, Key plead guilty to several misdemeanors, including theft, possession of drug paraphernalia, and trespassing.
Bella was missing for about two hours, until her kidnapper parked in front of a cupcake shop in Salt Lake City. The owner of the shop, Leslie Fiet, noticed the vehicle and remembered “seeing a black vehicle that had been sitting out there a while.” Upon recognizing it from the text, and seeing the child inside, Leslie reached into the car and removed the child, taking her into her store and locking it from inside.
Bella was reunited with her parents shortly thereafter. Key was also arrested following this sequence of events. She has now been charged with theft as a second degree felony, along with child abuse and another charge of possessing drug paraphernalia.