Courtney Best was clocked in for her shift at Papa Murphy’s Pizza in Corpus Christi, Texas when she felt the itch that smokers know all too well. Little did the 26-year-old know, her sudden urge for thisparticular cigarette was about to save a child’s life.
Typically, when Courtney needed to satisfy her nicotine cravings at work, she would step out back for a quick smoke, but for some reason, on this day, she decided to light-up out front.
“I stepped outside, I was standing by the trashcan, and I seen [sic] a white car pull up, and I just happen to take my phone with me, cause we don’t look at our phones at work, and I looked down and I saw ‘white Dodge Avenger Amber Alert,’ and I was like, ‘Nah, that’s not him,’” Courtney told KRIS TV in Corpus Christi. “The man was walking across the parking lot looking at me … cause I was the only person out here, with the little boy and the little boy looked scared and I was like no, that’s not him.”
The Amber Alert was issued for 7-year-old Nicolas Gomez, who had been abducted the day before in nearby Alice, Texas.
As Courtney watched the pair walk into a neighboring dollar store, her gut told her that she had to do something. “My stomach started knotting up, so I was like, ahh, I’m gonna go, I’m gonna check and see,”Courtney said.
Thinking on her feet, Courtney ran to her car and nonchalantly drove past the vehicle that the man and the young boy had emerged from. As she got a clear view of the license plate number, she confirmed that it was a match.
In disbelief, Courtney immediately picked up her cell phone and dialed 911. By this time though, the man and his victim were already back in the white Dodge and were driving away.
“And I’m on the phone with 911 and I tell her, look, the plates match up, he’s turning left on Staples but I’m gonna follow him.”
Luckily, police officers caught up to the suspect and he was arrested on a $100,000 kidnapping warrant obtained by detectives.
Nicolas is now back with his mother in Alice and the kidnapper, 29-year-old Channing Eloy Galbraith, is being held at Jim Wells County Jail on charges related to kidnapping.
As for Courtney, she admitted that she never paid much attention to Amber Alerts before, but now states that she will definitely be on high alert the next time her phone signals a missing child.