There is joy, relief and some anger in the Salinas home of 2-year-old Jacob Vargas, who was reunited with his mother and stepfather late Thursday after being checked at a local hospital.
The boy from Monterey County was abducted Thursday morning, prompting a state-wide Amber Alert.
"Yesterday when we picked him up at Natividad Medical Center, he was really happy," said Jose Edeza, Jacob's stepfather. "Really full of joy to see us."
Jacob was with his father, who shares parental custody, at his Soledad home when police said the dad's car was stolen with the boy in it.
The car was in the driveway running, being warmed up and investigators said they believe whoever stole it did not realize until later Jacob was inside.
More than seven hours later, a passerby who remembered the Amber Alert led police to a shed in rural Gonzales, where Jacob was rescued from the locked stolen car.
"We are keeping an eye on him," Edeza said. "And there is a possibility we might be taking him to therapy just to do some follow up."
Soledad Police Chief Eric Sills said the intense investigation has led to solid progress and new leads. Jacob's family said it wants justice because the so-called inadvertent kidnapping could have turned out much worse.
"Where the car was found too, it was kind of in the middle of nowhere," said Anastacia Araujo, Jacob's mother. "And he was still buckled in his seat belt. I'm just really grateful somebody found him."