By Sharon Lynn Pruitt, Oxygen
A mother in Arizona was killed this week while trying to stop her ex from kidnapping their child.
Brittany Martie, 30, was at a private residence in Phoenix on Tuesday evening when the abduction occurred, the Peoria Police Department said in a recent news release. Martie was loading her 10-month-old son, Abel, into a minivan when a man later identified as 30-year-old Eric Maes — the child’s non-custodial parent — got into the passenger seat and began driving away with the child.
According to onlookers, Martie tried to hold onto the car as Maes sped away, and was eventually thrown from the vehicle. After witnesses called 911 to report seeing a woman latched onto a car in motion, officers with the PPD responded to the scene and found Martie, who’d sustained critical injuries. She was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she died from her wounds.
Police issued an amber alert and asked the public to be on the lookout for Maes, who was later seen abandoning the car in Phoenix and taking the child with him, according to police. Abel was found abandoned, but safe, at around 1 a.m. on Wednesday on a doorstep of someone that neither Maes nor Martie knew, AZCentral reports.
Maes was arrested on Wednesday afternoon after police responded to a tip regarding a possible sighting, according to another news release. He was taken into custody following a brief chase and is expected to be charged with one count of manslaughter. Police noted Wednesday that those charges are subject to change as the investigation is still active.
Martie’s loved ones are mourning the death of a woman they say was “full of life,” 12News reports. She is survived by Abel and her 10-year-old daughter, Prudence.
“Their mom literally fought for them to the death,” her cousin, Juliann Davis, told the outlet.
Family and friends of Martie told 12News that she and Maes had had an on-again, off-again relationship and that he had repeatedly been abusive. Her loved ones said they are hoping Maes will be held accountable and sent to prison, according to the outlet.