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Suspect charged with first-degree murder in abduction death of mom

Eric Maes (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Mugshot)

PHOENIX — A suspect accused of abducting his infant son and killing the mother during the kidnapping has been charged with first-degree murder, according to court documents released Thursday.

Eric Maes, 30, was charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping in apprehension of injury, endangerment and theft of means of transportation after he allegedly abducted 10-month-old Abel Maes and drove off in the van of the child’s mother Tuesday evening, court documents say.

Brittanie Martie, 30, was killed as Maes allegedly drove away with the child near 91st Avenue and Deer Valley Road in Peoria.

Maes, in an interview Wednesday night with police, said Martie jumped out of the moving van and that he turned it around and intentionally struck Martie as she stood on a sidewalk, court documents said.

The van was stolen from outside a home where Maes’ adult sister had been babysitting the boy, documents said.

Police said a person in the neighborhood called 911, reporting hearing a woman yelling “stop, stop, help, help” from inside the van and, after the van did a U-turn, that the person walked down the street and “found a woman wrapped around a fire hydrant.”

An Amber Alert for baby Abel was issued Tuesday evening but was canceled after he was found.

Abel was located in good health on the doorstep of a residence near 19th and Peoria avenues hours later but Maes remained at-large.

Maes was arrested by the Phoenix Police Department around 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday.

A judge ordered Thursday that Maes remain jailed in lieu of bail of $2 million. A preliminary hearing was set for Feb. 22.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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