Pizza shop supervisor Courtney Best is haunted by “what-ifs.”
What if she’d taken her smoke break behind the Corpus Christi pizza joint, like usual, instead of out front?
What if she hadn’t looked at her phone to see an Amber Alert for a missing 7-year-old boy?
What if she’d looked up just a second too late?
But Courtney doesn’t have to wonder “what if,” not after a split second-decision that many are calling heroic. Thanks to her, that little boy, Nicolas Gomez, is back with his mom after her boyfriend, Channing Eloy Galbraith, 29, allegedly kidnapped him last Wednesday night.
Now, Galbraith is in jail.
On that fateful Thursday, Courtney, 26, a supervisor at a Texas Papa Murphey’s, decided to take a quick smoke break outside the front of the pizza shop. She usually goes out back. Standing by the trash can, Best spied a white Dodge Avenger pulling into parking spot nearby, which wouldn’t have been alarming on a normal day.
But this day, her phone lit up with an Amber Alert, asking people to keep their eyes peeled for that very same car, she told KRIS-TV.
“I was like, nah, that’s not him. The man was walking across the parking lot looking at me… cause I was the only person out here, with the little boy and the little boy looked scared and I was like no, that’s not him.”
The car was last seen the night before at a business in a nearby town owned by Galbraith’s parents, the Corpus Christi Daily Caller added.
The man and the little boy then walked into a dollar store next door, while Courtney kept her eye on the car, listening to a gut feeling that told her she needed to take action.
“My stomach started knotting up,” she recalled, “so I was like, ahh, I’m gonna go, I’m gonna check and see.”
She got into her car, drove near the suspect’s and took note of the license plates, confirming that the number matched the one specified in the Amber Alert.
So she dialed 911, just as the suspect and Nicholas returned to the car, which then drove off. And Best did what she knew she had to do — she followed.
Corpus Christi police soon caught up with the Avenger, pulling Galbraith over in the fire department’s parking lot. He was arrested without incident and now faces a kidnapping charge. There are no details about the nature of the relationship between him and the boy, or any indication of a possible motive.
Luckily, Nicholas didn’t appear to have been injured during the ordeal.
If Best had made a different choice, or looked up from her phone a bit too late, or not checked it all, this story would’ve ended differently.
“That’s why I’m freakin’ out. Cause, what are the odds? What are the odds of me looking at my phone? And I usually don’t even look at amber alerts, as bad as that sounds, I look at them and I don’t really pay attention. Sure enough it was him.”
[Photo Courtesy of Twitter]