Spanish-speaking stranger helps mother after kidnapping

By Stacy

LADSON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Mariela Hoffens Solorzano thought she may never look into the eyes of her newborn baby again.

"She was crying. She was crying. She kept saying 'mi bebe' - my baby," said Robert Alexander, a CVS employee who spotted Solorzano outside the Ladson pharmacy Wednesday afternoon.

We spoke to Alexander on the phone Thursday night at his home in North Carolina.

Alexander works at CVS pharmacies around the country. He was working on a new Minute Clinic at the CVS on Highways 78 Wednesday when he found Solorzano, he said.

"The young lady - we'd seen her. She was walking around the parking lot crying - frantic. She approached me and two co-workers speaking Spanish," Alexander said.

Turns out, Alexander was bilingual. He's half Mexican and grew up in Texas.

"She told me the lady she was with had taken her baby," he said. "So the first thing I did was call 911 and spoke with the dispatcher. They were trying to get a translator. The translator person never picked up."

That's when Alexander stepped in. He translated Solorzano's Spanish to English, first for 911 dispatchers and then for police. He also acted as caregiver for the terrified mother.

"The more she kept crying about her baby, the more frantic and louder she was getting, so I was just trying to keep her as calm as possible," he said. "One of my co-workers gave her a bottle of water. I brought her tissues to try to calm her down."

Officers eventually ushered her away after getting a lead.

Alexander said he is grateful he and his voice were there.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off