ATWATER, Calif. (KTXL) -- A child inside a stolen car was found safe just about an hour after he had been abducted.
Now, his family is warning that this ordeal could happen to just about anyone.
What would have been a typical workday for a single mother on Grove Avenue in Atwater turned into a harrowing ordeal for Alex Pulido.
"I still have nightmares," Pulido told FOX40. "There's times I dream about my car reversing out of my driveway."
Pulido said on Feb. 5, she started her car so it would be warm for her kids. Her 5-year-old son was asleep in the backseat and as she scooped up her sleeping 8-year-old daughter from inside her home, an hourlong nightmare began.
"I was lost. I died for those 55 minutes," Pulido said.
Pulido said she ran after the car but could not keep up with the driver as he headed east.
She called 911, then called Gabby Pulido, the boy’s adoptive mother, who lives minutes away and raced over to help.
"I don’t blame the mother of my child, at all. I have a lot of love for her, I’m always going to have love for her," Gabby said. "She gave me the greatest gift. She allowed me to adopt her son."
The family said Atwater police officers scoured the streets for the missing boy.
About 20 minutes later, the car was found on Kelso Avenue – but there was no sign of the boy.
Thirty-five agonizing minutes later, the patrol unit that had been parked in front of their home sped down the street. Without hesitation, the family followed.
Nearly an hour after the abduction and just about half a mile away, they found their son.
The family says a good Samaritan discovered their son on High Street. He had been ditched, scared and barefoot, with a blanket draped over him, and had been dragging his car seat.
“He’s 5! Just left him there,” Gabby said.
Back in the arms of his mothers, the boy told them the little he remembered.
"He just said, ‘He wasn’t very nice, he didn’t talk to me,’ was what he said,” Gabby said. “'He didn’t talk to me, he just said we gotta clear the car.'"
The kidnapper has not been found but the family's focus now is finding the stranger who found their son.
“And there was a man there, I don’t know who he was. I wish I could see him and meet him and just give him a hug and tell him thank you,” Gabby said.