According to police, the girl was playing outside her Albuquerque apartment complex when a man drove up and snatched her.
Kids playing nearby saw what happened and alerted the girl's mom identified as Melissa Torrez.
Torrez says she then jumped in her car.
"My mind went black. I grabbed my keys," said the 27-year-old mother of three. "I just got in my car and I ... went looking for her."
Unaware that the suspect had already pushed her daughter out of the car, Torrez chased the suspect for seven miles.
"I felt like I was flying ... as if I didn't have my soul or something," said Torrez.
During the pursuit, she lost control and accidentally slammed into the suspect's brown Buick.
"I wasn't trying to hit it because I thought my daughter was inside," said Torrez.
The suspect, later identified as 31-year-old David Hernandez, got out of the car and raised his hands but took off running when police arrived.
The 4-year-old girl was spotted and rescued a short time later. She was not hurt. Police believe Hernandez pushed the 4-year-old out of the car "presumably once he noticed Torrez had been notified and was following him."
Police caught up with Hernandez at his construction job Thursday and arrested him following a massive manhunt involving Homeland Security Investigations.
He has since been charged with kidnapping and child abuse.
Authorities are now investigating a possible connection to the abduction and sexual assault of the victim's 6-year-old neighbor last week.
em> The Associated Press contributed to this report.