Stolen photos of Charlotte newborn’s final moments being returned

Only photo of the newborn, baby Amari, captured on a cellphone
Only photo of the newborn, baby Amari, captured on a cellphone WBTV

Nearly a month after photos of a Charlotte newborn baby's final moments were stolen from the garage of a photographer, the photos are on the way back to the baby's mother.

Earlier this month, photographer Faith Massey said someone broke into her garage and stole her camera from the back seat of her vehicle.

The day before, Massey had taken photos of baby Amari's first and final moments.

She works with an organization called "Now I lay me down to sleep," which captures professional photos of newborns who likely won't make it out of the hospital.

"It's something that can't be replaced. It's something that is going to live in their hearts forever but the memory fades very quickly. Especially when you only have a few hours with your child," Massey told us in early February. "We photographed him with all of the family members, his first bath, did some video images of him and his mother."

Baby Amari died 30 minutes after he was born.

"Words cannot explain how I'm feeling right now," his mother, April McLean, said in early February. "After loosing(sic) Amari, Faith helped make sure that we captured all of Amari's precious moments on her camera shortly after I gave birth til the moment he took his last breath. To find out that the camera has been stolen with the memory card full of the last moments with my baby, broke my heart. I've cried til I can't cry anymore."

McLean put out a plea for whoever stole the camera to please return the photos.

"At this point I don't care who you are," she said. "To lose my child and to lose the only pictures we have of Amari can't even be explained. Just hurts and heartbroken. Please Just give me back the last moments I had with my child."

Wednesday morning, WBTV learned that McLean's plea had been answered.

Massey says she was contacted by Time Warner Cable, WBTV's news partner, who said the camera card, with the photos of baby Amari on it, had been mailed to the station.

She expects to get the photos back from the station and will finally be able to give the photos to McLean.

"Have a heart for this family and know that these are the only images they have of their child," Massey said.