A Napa woman was arrested in Mendocino County in connection to a reported vehicle theft with the owner’s infant child inside, according to authorities.

At about 5:25 p.m. Thursday, Mendocino County sheriff’s deputies were called to the Coyote Valley Casino in Redwood Valley after a 40-year-old Clearlake woman reported her vehicle stolen with her 16-month-old infant inside, the sheriff's office said in a news release.

The woman said she had met the suspect, identified as 58-year-old Wanda Jean Cowan, on Wednesday and had driven with her from Lake County to the casino, but that when she went inside, Cowan drove off with the vehicle, the agency said.

Deputies issued an alert to nearby law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for Cowan and the vehicle, and were starting to issue an AMBER Alert for the child’s disappearance when a California Highway Patrol officer stopped the vehicle on Highway 101 in Willits, with the infant unrestrained in the back seat, according to the sheriff's office.

Cowan was detained and booked into the Mendocino County jail in Ukiah, the agency said. The infant was returned to her mother unhurt.

As of 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Cowan was being held on $250,000 bail on suspicion of kidnapping, child endangerment and possessing stolen property, according to the jail’s online booking log.

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City of Napa/Town of Yountville Reporter

Howard Yune covers the city of Napa and the town of Yountville. He has been a reporter and photographer for the Register since 2011, and previously wrote for the Marysville Appeal-Democrat, Anaheim Bulletin and Coos Bay (Oregon) World.