By Kathy Jefcoats
JONESBORO — A 911 call made by one of three children kidnapped in a carjacking led police to their safe return, said officials.
Clayton County police Officer Charlene Watson-Fraser said the children were left inside their mother's 1996Toyota Camry while she shopped at Dollar General on Tara Boulevard.
One of the children, a 9-year-old boy, called 911 from inside the car. Watson-Fraser said police were able to determine where the kids were and found them at King Arthur Court and Valley Hill Road.
"Officers located the victim's children inside of the vehicle safe and unharmed," she said.
A subsequent investigation led to the arrest of Billy Cecil Roden Jr., 43, of Chehow Drive in Griffin. He is being held in the Clayton County Jail without bond on charges of theft by taking, kidnapping, cruelty to children and giving a false name.
Witnesses said a white male and a black male were pacing back and forth in front of the store prior to the incident, said police. The witness told police the white male frequents the store and is known as "12 Pack."
Officers with the Clayton County police SMASH Unit did a traffic stop at Tara Boulevard and Mt. Zion Road and held one of three occupants of the car for giving a false name, said Watson-Fraser. Police said the other two identified him as "12 Pack."
The man known as "12 Pack" was identified through a sketch as Roden, she said.
According to Georgia Department of Corrections records, Roden was released from state prison in 2004 after serving three months for possession of drugs in Fayette County. He previously served four months in 2003 for a drug conviction in Clayton County.
Clayton County court records show aggravated assault and robbery charges were dropped against him in 1998.
He is due in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing.