The car was stolen from outside a home on Bentfield Drive in Antioch.
The five-year-old was found at a nearby truck stop three hours later.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
A five-year-old boy reported missing after his mother's car was stolen Tuesday evening was found nearly three hours later at a Nashville truck stop.
The boy's mother said her car, a 1999 Chevrolet Lumina, was stolen around 5 p.m. while she was picking up another child at a licensed in-home daycare center on Bentfield Drive in Antioch.
Police said the 29-year-old mother left the car unlocked and running as she ran inside. Her son was in the vehicle.
The boy was found around 8 p.m., alone and wandering around the parking lot of the TA truck stop located at 13011 Old Hickory Boulevard.
"He was sobbing and the closer he got to us my husband said he sobbed harder and when I turned around he was sobbing so hard that he couldn't breathe. I just consoled him and told him that I would try to help him. I asked him if he lost his mama and he shook his head yes," witness Toni Lutrick said.
The child told Lutrick he had been asleep in the backseat of the car.
"I said I am going to help you. Let's go inside to see if mom went in to the bathroom. So I walked him in the TA and through the Popeye's and Burger King and we couldn't find her," she continued. "We walked up to the front desk and I said this little boy has lost his mom."
Witness Luther Lewis added, "That's when I jumped up and said this child was just walking across the interstate and she was like, ‘what?' That's when police got called and everyone showed up. That's when they found the car here."
Authorities said they believe the child was dropped off at another location before he walked to the truck stop where the vehicle was also found abandoned.
Metro police spokesperson Don Aaron said at least two men were seen in the stolen car as it fled.
Neighbors said two suspicious suspects, believed to be in their late teens or early 20s, was seen in the area moments before the car was stolen.
A neighbor added he heard the mother's screams and attempted to chase the car in his own vehicle.
On Wednesday, detectives spent time at the truck stop in an effort to obtain surveillance video that could help identity the suspects.
The lone camera is quite a ways from where the stolen car was abandoned, but authorities said the car entered the truck stop around 5:40 p.m.
Two people reportedly were seen fleeing the scene on foot.
The child, whose identity was not released, will be interviewed by authorities in the near future about the incident and his abductors.