MARATHON, Fla. – A 49-year-old Marathon man is the second person to be arrested after authorities said a 16-month-old toddler was kidnapped from a hotel.
According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Jan Hans Gasperik was driving a vehicle that was stopped by deputies Wednesday after Zita Gasperik, 49, also of Marathon, kidnapped the child.
Deputies said Zita Gasperik was found in the passenger seat with the toddler in her lap.
According to Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Adam Linhardt, deputies were called to the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Marathon around 8:30 a.m. where an employee told authorities that Zita Gasperik took her child without her permission.
Deputies pulled over the Gasperiks on U.S. 1 a short time later and found the toddler unharmed, although the couple was driving as Hurricane Ian was making its way past the Keys, creating more dangerous than normal driving conditions, Linhardt said.
The child’s mother told deputies that Gasperik, who is also a hotel employee, had been telling her how cute her baby was and took a picture.
She also said, “This baby is mine today,” according to the mother.
The mother told deputies that her co-worker then took her child to a breakfast room, but when she went to get her child back, her child and Gasperik were gone.
Zita Gasperik was arrested Wednesday on charges of child neglect and kidnapping.
Jan Hans Gasperik was taken into custody Thursday on the same charges.