Barbara Gusse of Brooklyn Center is an avid bird watcher.

The grandmother of nine can often be found observing birds in her yard through binoculars.

But she never thought that her favorite hobby might save the life of a child and reunite a baby with its family.

Gusse received an Amber Alert around 2:15 p.m. on her phone after coming inside from taking care of the birds in her yard.

The alert asked recipients to be on the lookout for a white Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 1-year-old boy in the back seat.
The car had been stolen two hours prior in north Minneapolis.

Gusse had seen a white Jeep in the parking lot of Cross of Glory Lutheran Church across the street earlier but didn’t think anything of it.

“It was running, you could see the exhaust because it was so cold,” Gusse told the Minnesota Star Tribune.
After spotting the Jeep and tending to the birds, she went back inside to call her daughter, Katye Stolp.

“We were just talking and the Amber Alert came on and buzzed on all our phones,” said Stolp.

Gusse immediately hung up the phone and grabbed her binoculars to check out its license plate only to find that it was a match.
“My heart went to my feet,” Gusse said. “I was shaking so bad I couldn’t hold a cup.”

Gusse rushed to call the police who found the boy in the car and reunited him with his parents.

Gusse said she was just happy that the child was found safe and unharmed.
“I’m just happy because I could hear that little thing crying when they opened the door,” she told WCCO CBS Minnesota, letting out a few tears. “I’m just glad he’s OK.”

Apparently, the Amber Alert was the result of car theft.

The boy’s mother reported that she had strapped her son in the car seat and ran back into the house.
When she came back outside, the car and her child were gone. Gusse was still shaken even 24-hours after the event.

“She was crying and saying that I was thinking about my own grandchildren, if something like that happened to them I would be beside myself,” Stolp said.
Police lauded Gusse’s efforts and said the baby could have been harmed due to the cold temperatures if the gas in the car had run out or if the battery died.

“This is really exemplary of what happens when the community assists and we are eternally grateful for the 911 caller advising us of where the vehicle was,” Minneapolis Police Department Spokesperson John Elder said.

“The fact that she was alert and willing to reach out is beyond appreciated.”

The child was “all smiles” when found by the police but was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

No arrests have been made so far but the suspect is facing charges of auto theft and kidnapping. But Gusse said she was just doing what any grandmother would if she had the opportunity.

“Honey, I’m no hero. I’m just a grandmother,” she said.

By Admin