Quick trip nearly turned into nightmare for Clarksville mom - WSMV Channel 4

Quick trip nearly turned into nightmare for Clarksville mom

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Sharonda Belvin hugs her son Cornelius Belvin on Tuesday. Sharonda Belvin hugs her son Cornelius Belvin on Tuesday.
CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A quick trip to the store turned into a nightmare for a Clarksville mother when her son was kidnapped.

Cornelius Belvin, 7, is back home safe after the ordeal.

Sharonda Belvin wants this to be a lesson to all parents not to leave your child unattended, even for just a few minutes.

"I thought I lost my child. I thought my child was gone forever," said Sharonda Belvin.

This single-mom faced that fear during a quick trip to the store last night.

She and her son were under the weather, so she went to pick up a few things to help them feel better.

"I didn't want him getting in and out of the car with it being so cold," said Sharonda Belvin.

Sharonda Belvin had parked in front of the Dollar General Market. She had left Cornelius in the car with it running. She thought she locked the doors, then ran inside to get some medicine.

"My mom was getting medicine for me and then some guy shows up and gets in the car," said Cornelius.

When she returned from the store, her car - and Cornelius - were gone.

"I left the car running and I ran into the store for just a moment. My car is gone, my baby is in the car. Where is my baby?" asked Sharonda Belvin in her call to 911.

When the strange man got in the car and drove off, Cornelius tried to stayed calm.

"I was just trying to look and see if he looked familiar," said Cornelius.

Sharonda Belvin's moment of panic quickly disappeared.

Minutes later, a woman found Cornelius outside a Walmart gas station and took him to the main store. Someone bought Cornelius a toy while he waited for him mom.

"He looked at me like, 'What's wrong?' Because I was crying," said Sharonda Belvin. "I was so scared. He was like, 'I was OK. I was brave.'"

Police said the 7-year-old's description of his kidnapper pointed to Willie Cole, 20.

"The kid was on top of things," said Clarksville police spokesman Jim Knoll. "He gave us a fairly good description and he was actually pretty calm about everything."

Officers found Cole across the street inside K-Mart walking around the store.

"What he told us is he needed money to take care of previous charges and that's why he stole the car," said Knoll. "When he saw that child in the vehicle, he panicked. He just freaked out.

"This could have been a lot worse."

Sharonda Belvin agreed and urges all parents to learn from her frightening experience.

"Do not leave your child out in the car by their self ever again," said Sharonda Belvin. "I don't know what I would do without my baby."

Cole is charged with theft and kidnapping. He already has a criminal history. Police said he was out on probation. He's being held tonight at the Montgomery County jail without bond.

Copyright 2012 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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