Neighbors are raising money for a pregnant mother seriously injured after she was beaten, run over and had her two-year-old abducted during a carjacking near Libertyville.
The incident happened around 3:35 p.m. Thursday in the 16000 block of West Buckley Road in unincorporated Libertyville.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said deputies received a call for a vehicular hijacking with a two-year-old child still inside the vehicle.
Taylor Shepherd, 34, who is approximately six months pregnant, had just returned to her residence, according to her neighbors and police.
She pulled into her driveway and brought one of her children inside, Covelli said.
Shepherd came back to her car to retrieve her other child, a two-year-old boy, when a white BMW pulled into her driveway behind her car.
A man exited the passenger side of the BMW and struggled to get into the woman’s 2021 Volkswagen Atlas as she tried to keep her two-year-old son safe.
The offender battered Shepherd and knocked her to the ground, Covelli said. He then stole her car with the child inside.
He and the driver of the BMW, described as a 2000s model with a black bumper and loud exhaust, fled from the scene.
The suspect was described as being tall and thin, wearing a grey zip-up hooded sweatshirt and a light green face mask.
One of the two drivers ran Shepherd over as they fled, causing serious injuries to her extremities, Covelli said.
The woman was still able to call 911 and sheriff’s deputies immediately responded.
Sheriff’s detectives also responded to the scene and the general area to assist in the search for the Volkswagen.
Covelli said that a person working at a business in the 2200 block of Lakeside Drive in Waukegan called 911 to report they saw two vehicles enter the parking lot a short time later and the driver of one of the cars abandoned a small child.
The drivers of both vehicles fled the area. The 911 caller at the business rescued the child from the parking lot to prevent him from wandering onto the roadway.
Waukegan police officers and sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene. Sheriff’s personnel confirmed the found child was the abducted child.
Sheriff’s detectives had called Volkswagen Car-Net in an attempt to track the vehicle.
There was a delay because Volkswagen Car-Net would not track the vehicle with the abducted child until they received payment to reactivate the tracking device in the stolen Volkswagen, Covelli said.
Sheriff’s deputies located the stolen Volkswagen in a parking lot near Casimir Pulaski and Route 43 in Waukegan.
The vehicle will be processed for trace evidence. Sheriff’s detectives continue searching for the BMW.
Covelli said the BMW was stolen in the past week from a car dealership in Waukegan.
Shepherd remains at an area hospital in serious but stable condition as of Friday.
She underwent medical procedures Friday and detectives have been in close contact with her and her family, Covelli said.
The North Libertyville Estates neighborhood created a GoFundMe account to help the Shepherd-Koutelidakis family following the incident.
Over $20,000 has been raised in less than a day. The fundraiser has a goal of $50,000.
Shepherd’s two-year-old son, Isaiah, suffered no physical injuries and was reunited with his family.
Shepherd will be unable to work due to her injuries. Her unborn baby will require ongoing monitoring to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery, neighbors said.
Anyone who sees the stolen BMW or has any information about the incident is asked to call the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division at 847-377-4000 or contact Lake County CrimeStoppers at www.lakecountycrimestoppers.org.