- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

HOLLY HILL, S.C. (AP) - The kidnapping of a 4-month-old girl who was found safe on the side of a road several miles away was not a random act, Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said.

Seven men with guns forced their way into a Holly Hill home Tuesday afternoon and one of them hit a 52-year-old woman with a gun before taking the infant.

Someone spotted the child about an hour later along state Highway 311, west of Moncks Corner. Berkeley County Sheriff’s Capt. Rick Ollic said emergency workers determined the girl was fine and she has been returned to her parents.

Ravenell didn’t say why the gunmen wanted to kidnap the baby. Investigators are following a number of leads, but no arrests have been made, the sheriff said.

Holly Hill Police Lt. Joshua Detter said the kidnappers left in a green Ford Explorer and a red Chevrolet Impala.

“The dad was standing outside, very distraught,” said Detter, the first officer at the house. “He said, ‘They got my baby.’

Orangeburg County deputies were about to issue an Amber Alert when she was found.

“We will locate the cowards who entered the residence and snatched an innocent child from their family and later discarded the helpless child on the side of a road,” Ravenell said.

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