The kidnapper was her son's biological father and yet he abandoned their son while she lost her life trying to save him.
Most parents will do anything, no matter the cost, to keep their beloved children safe and 30-year-old Brittany Walker-Martie was no different.
On the night of 9 February, 2021, the mother had only one thought on her mind and that was to save her 10-month-old son, Abel Maes, from being kidnapped, according to People. The Peoria Police Department recalled the events in a press releases saying that Brittany had grabbed on to her car when a man, who was later identified as Abel's noncustodial father Eric Maes, 30, had jumped into the driver's seat and started driving away with the child inside. Trying desperately to hold on to the car and get her child back, unfortunately, Brittany was unable to do so and was thrown from the vehicle as it sped off, said the authorities.
Responding officers came upon her while they were on duty for a domestic violence incident report and found her suffering from life-threatening injuries. Though the mother was taken to the hospital immediately after discovery, she didn't survive her injuries and passed away. As for her young son, an AMBER Alert had been issued for Abel, who was found "in good health" early the next morning when officers had received a report of an abandoned child located 11 miles away from where he was taken, according to Peoria Police. The mother's car was found abandoned just four miles away from where Abel was found.
But the car was of no use to one very important person - Brittany's 11-year-old daughter, Prudence. She appeared at a public vigil on 10 February, 2021, according to AZ Family, and she told reporters through tears, "I love her so much. She was my mommy. She was always there for us."
"She is a solid mother. She died for her son. She died trying to save little Abel," said her best friend, Heather Giard while her sister-in-law, Lindsy Walker, said, "That baby was her life. She doted on that kid."
At the vigil, many loved ones who had gathered were wearing mostly purple, as a nod to domestic violence awareness. Lindsy described Brittany's relationship with Eric Maes as abusive, and she says the mother-of-two worked hard to get away from it. She had even moved in with her brother's family the previous summer and started working 12-hour days in the hopes of finally securing an apartment for herself and her two kids. Her wish had come true and was planning to move into the place on the Friday following the incident. Now, she's left behind two young children and a group of people who loved her. "She had the beautifulest (sic) spirit I have ever seen," Lindsy said. "It didn't matter if anybody was mad at her or not. She'd try to make you happy."
Eric, the man who shot Brittany had been arrested following a "foot pursuit" in Phoenix on the same afternoon of the vigil after officers received a call about a possible suspect sighting, according to Peoria Police. In their press conference, Peoria Police Sgt. Amanda Gaines said that the perpetrator was initially booked on one count of manslaughter, however, his charges have been amended to include one count each of murder in the first degree, kidnapping, endangerment, and theft of means of transportation following an interview with him, according to People. Charges may be added or amended as an investigation is ongoing, according to Gaines.
A GoFundMe page has been organized by Lindsy to help the family with the funeral costs and legal fees. She wrote on the page, "February 9th, 2021, Brittany Marie Walker, a mother of two beautiful kids, a daughter, a beloved sister to two brothers and a sister and the best friend anyone could ask for was tragically taken by domestic violence. She was the type to wear her heart on her sleeve and helped anyone she could. She treated all with dignity, respect and could make you smile no matter what you were going through, and that was her biggest joy." A Facebook page was also started to remember the lost mother.