PHOENIX (3 TV/CBS 5) - The man who police say kidnapped his baby boy from his mother in Peoria Tuesday is being charged with numerous felonies, including premeditated first-degree murder. 

Eric Maes, 30, was caught by police in Phoenix Wednesday afternoon after a manhunt began Tuesday afternoon.

Eric Maes

Eric Maes is accused of kidnapping his 10-month-old son and killing the baby's mother.

That's when, according to police, 30-year-old Brittany Walker-Martie of Phoenix was loading her 10-month-old son Abel Maes into a vehicle near 91st Avenue and Deer Valley Road. The baby's father, Maes of Sun City, showed up and stole the car with the boy still inside, police said. 

Court paperwork indicates several people witnessed the event as they described a black mini-van going southbound on 93rd Avenue. 

A woman, who asked to be kept anonymous, says she saw the minivan spin out of control and hit a wall and an electric box.

"And at that time I heard a woman screaming, saying, ‘Help! No! Help! Help! No! Stop! Stop!’ and there was banging on the drivers’ side door,” she said.

The neighbor quickly called 911 as the van drove off and then turned back around. "He was again driving very fast and erratically,” the caller said.

The documents say witness accounts described the van as it spun out and crashed into an electrical box and then continued west on Adam Avenue. They then say the van did a U-turn and came back west down the street.

WARNING: Graphic details

After the van sped by, they found Walker-Martie, "wrapped around a fire hydrant."

“I was very concerned for her health because you could tell that she was unconscious and her breathing was very labored, so I was very concerned for her," she said.

The witness still gets emotional just thinking about what happened Tuesday.

"I don’t think you’re ever prepared for trauma like that, to witness, and the violence that can happen to a person and then to -- what has happened to those children and their mom is just horrific.”

When investigators found the van, they discovered blood and handprints on the hood of the vehicle, court documents say.

After his arrest Maes told investigators that he and Walker-Martie had been fighting in the moving van when "she jumped out while they were going 30 to 40 mph." He then said he "turned the van around and while... standing on the sidewalk, he intentionally hit her with the van..."

He was booked into the Maricopa County Jail Wednesday on one count of manslaughter. Now Maes is facing additional charges. Those charges include: 

  • One count of first-degree murder
  • One count of theft of means of transportation
  • One count of kidnapping
  • One count of endangerment

Peoria police Sgt. Amanda Gaines says more charges could be added. She says police are still hoping other witnesses come forward with more information that will help them piece together what happened.


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