ARTESIA (CBS) — A 3-year-old girl has been reunited with her family after being taken by a car thief.

Kailani Madrigal was sitting in her mother’s 1983 silver Honda Accord when the vehicle was stolen from the 18100 block of Elaine Avenue just after 6 a.m. Wednesday morning.

“That’s not her car. That’s my mom’s car,” Madrigal said just hours after the ordeal. “I was sitting in the car seat.”

“I heard her [my wife] screaming hysterically, ‘They took the baby. They took the baby.’ It’s an ugly feeling,” Kailani’s father, Ralph Madrigal, told CBS2.

Kailani says she started crying in the backseat, which is likely what led the female driver to drop her off on the sidewalk near Cerritos College at South Street and 186th Street.

“One lady, she picked me up,” Kailani recalls.

“When I had seen this lady pull up with her and she’s like, ‘Is this your daughter?’ and we’re like, ‘Yes, it is.’ I just grabbed her, hugged her, kissed her and thank God she’s back with us,” her father said.

Madrigal was missing for roughly 20 minutes, but police are still searching for the suspect, as well as the family’s vehicle.

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