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Coopersville mother describes attack, baby's kidnapping | News

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Coopersville mother describes attack, baby's kidnapping

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Coopersville mother is sharing her horror story of being strangled and seeing her daughter kidnapped.

Police arrested her estranged husband, Joseph Dunn, just as they were about to issue an Amber Alert. 

Investigators say Dunn broke into Shelby Dunn's home on Main Street in Coopersville around 5 a.m. on Monday. A short time later, police found him in Kent County with the 16-month-old girl unhurt.

Shelby showed WZZM 13 the cuts on her face and the scratches on her neck.  She described being attacked, beginning her story with the harrowing start.

"I heard a loud crash kind of a sound, and I thought my grandpa had fallen again," Shelby told WZZM 13. However, it was not her grandfather making the noise. "I heard the stairs creak, like somebody was coming up the stairs, and all of a sudden my door opened."

She says it was her estranged husband at the the door.

"He came up behind me, had his arm around my throat, and had his hands over my nose and mouth, trying to strangle me," Shelby told WZZM 13.   She says he was after their daughter.

"I was blacking out already, and I couldn't move my arms anymore, and I just said, 'Take her, take her,' because no matter what, if I died or if I was still alive, he was going to take her anyway," said Shelby.

Investigators say Joseph Dunn then kidnapped the young girl. After receiving the 911 call, they prepared for an Amber Alert.  However, as they were about to issue the alert, deputies in neighboring Kent County arrested him in Sparta. 

"It was a few moments from being issued when the child was located, and the child was not harmed," said Captain Mark Bennett with the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department. 

While Shelby was in the hospital, she had been worried her husband would leave the state -- or worse.

"I was really afraid he was going to try to commit suicide and take her with him," she told WZZM 13. She says he'd previously spent five months in jail for domestic abuse and had suicidal tendencies. Last week, she filed a personal protection order against him. "He was talking about me trying to take her, our daughter, away from him, because I'm trying to get full custody of her for obvious reasons."

However, the baby is now safely home, and Shelby's grandfather is okay, too, aside from being a little shaken up from the incident.

"When I looked at him, he looked absolutely evil, I'll tell you that," said Shelby's grandfather, Claude Sebright. "He looked like a wild man."

"I hope he goes to jail until he dies," Shelby said. "I don't want him to get back out and try to kill me and take our daughter."

Joseph Dunn faces charges of home invasion, domestic assault involving strangulation, and parental kidnapping.