'He just ran with a machete and my daughter:' North Carolina mom pleads for infant's return

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- A Fayetteville mother is pleading for the return of her 1-year-old daughter after her husband is seen on video taking off with the baby moments after setting their clothes on fire.

The last time Raven Williams saw her daughter, Amani, was on the surveillance video.

It was posted to Facebook and shows her 1-year-old standing just feet away from a blazing fire.

"I get an alert on my phone and I look live and see my husband dragging all of my things out to the backyard and lighting them aflame," Raven said.

The fire came after a fallout. She and her husband, Christopher, had a heated argument Saturday night. Raven called police as she watched from a video surveillance mobile app.

"I see my husband on camera still standing in the backyard with police officers in the front yard. Moments after with a machete in his hands and my daughter on his hip he slices the cameras," said Williams.

Police never found Christopher on Saturday. Raven says she was expecting an Amber Alert, and when that didn't happen, she filed a domestic violence protective order that said her husband needs to stay away, but bring Amani back home.

"So even with me having the emergency restraining order protect me and my children, it means nothing until they serve it to him and they can't find him," said Williams

ABC7's sister station ABC11 couldn't reach Christopher. Crews went by the home and saw some sort of notice on the door, the burn pile in the backyard - but no sign of Christopher or Amani.

ABC11 asked Fayetteville police whether there was a search for Amani.

"There's not an active search for the child as much as there is a search for Mr. Williams," Lt. Gary Womble said.

Authorities said once they find Christopher, they'll be able to check on Amani. Meanwhile, her mother said she fears for her daughter's safety.

"I don't know what he's capable of now," Raven said.

Fayetteville police say they don't believe the child is in any danger.

"The child is with the father and until we get evidence that the child is in danger it doesn't meet the criteria for an Amber Alert," Lt. Womble said.

The criteria for Amber Alerts can be found here.
Copyright © 2022 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.