Last Saturday, Rose Saintil held her baby grandson for the first and last time.
On Friday afternoon, 2-month-old Josiah Saintil was found dead in the trunk of a stolen car in Coral Springs, according to the Broward Sherriff’s Office.
“I can’t breathe right now; I hope this news is wrong,” Rose Saintil said as she gasped for air.
Authorities determined the dead baby is connected to an Amber Alert issued earlier in the day by the state Department of Law Enforcement for a missing infant who police say was kidnapped Thursday night by his father, 24-year-old Janus Saintil of Deerfield Beach.
Saintil was arrested Friday and is being held at a BSO public safety building.
“I can’t ever see Janus ever doing this; he came over last week with the baby,” Rose Saintil said of her son. “I’ve only seen my grandson once and now I can’t ever see him again.”
Saintil is accused of abducting his son, Josiah, as well as an unidentified man and two women, Thursday around 7 p.m. in a stolen black, four-door 2008 Kia Spectra with tinted windows. Investigators have identified the deceased child as the missing baby boy. One of the women is the baby’s mother, according to deputies
Authorities said they were on their way to a North Lauderdale Walmart when he got into an argument with one of the adults in the car and “pulled out a gun.”
“He drove to Port St. Lucie, where he dropped the baby off at an unknown address,” spokeswoman Dani Moschella said.
That’s when Saintil and the three other victims went to a second house in the area and an ATM, where “Saintil and a second suspect tried to force the male victim to get cash.”
As the man yelled for help, Saintil fled the area, leaving all three hostages behind. He then picked up the baby before driving back to South Florida, authorities said. It is unclear whether the baby was in the trunk at that point.
Baby Josiah last wore a blue onesie with the words “Mommy’s All Star” on the front.
"When you say you’ve seen it all, this is one of those things," Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti said. "It’s almost like the baby was carelessly discarded inside the trunk. Total lack of respect for the life.”
Moschella said BSO deputies, Coral Springs police and the U.S. Marshal Service had information that led them to believe that Saintil would be at Palm Terrace condominiums on Friday afternoon, 11000 Royal Palm Blvd.
The couple had friends in the condo complex, Coral Springs Police said, and undercover officers were waiting when Saintil drove into the complex.
“He pulled up in the car right next to the officer,” she said. “He was in the car with an 18-year-old female.”
BSO and Coral Springs police said the woman is in custody for questioning.
Moschella called the baby’s mother "a victim" and said she was also at a BSO facility and was being interviewed by detectives.
Authorities said the cause of the baby’s death is unknown, and that his body will be taken to the medical examiner’s office, along with the stolen car for further investigation.
Saintil has been in trouble with the law before. In the last six years, he has accumulated more than 20 charges that include armed robbery, grand theft, resisting arrest with violence, trespassing and careless driving.
“This is one of those things,” Lamberti said. “If you are a parent, it’s got to tug at your heart strings."