A heroin-addicted Arizona mom who kidnapped her 17-month-old baby daughter more two months ago has been busted in a Bronx shelter, authorities said yesterday.
Baby Caiden Lee Savicki, who was kidnapped from her Phoenix home on June 15, was found in the shelter at 9:15 a.m. Monday with her mother, Kristin Murray, police said.
The child’s father, Bill Savicki, has spent the past few weeks desperately searching for his little girl.
“I’m at a loss for words. I’m ecstatic about it,” said Savicki, who works as an air-conditioner repairman. “At the same time, I have mixed feelings. Her mother made some bad choices.”
That choice was to kidnap Caiden while the couple was in the midst of a custody battle in Phoenix.
Murray and Caiden disappeared on Father’s Day. The mom bought a one-way airline ticket to New York City and flew days later.
Savicki, 38, said his former girlfriend didn’t know anyone in New York but decided to come here because she had read about a shelter called Dove House in Jamaica, Queens, that would give her a bed and provide her with welfare benefits.
Murray hid out in the Queens shelter for two months and made daily trips, while pushing a baby carriage, to a nearby methadone clinic.
Savicki and Murray’s family called the American Association for Lost Children, a nonprofit organization that tracks down missing kids.
Investigators discovered the airline-ticket purchase and sent a team of three people to canvass women’s shelters and methadone clinics in the city.
Once they discovered she had been staying at Dove House on 191st Street, the group plastered the neighborhood with posters claiming Murray’s sister was looking for her and offering a $500 reward.
It’s likely that Savicki saw the posters and fled to the shelter in The Bronx, authorities said.
Police widened the search, and she was arrested on Monday.
Murray was charged yesterday in Queens with being a fugitive and sent to Rikers Island with no bail.
She will be extradited to Arizona on Sept. 11, where she faces felony kidnapping charges, prosecutors said.
Savicki said Murray has a history of drug abuse and even tried to claim she was a victim of domestic violence.
He said Murray even whacked herself in the head with a coffee mug to make it look like he beat her.
“I wanted my daughter to have a mother and a father,” said Savicki, who landed at JFK last night to pick up his daughter.
“Unfortunately, it’s going to be a little different.”
* New York Post (August 27, 2008)