GREENSBORO, N.C. — Officer Cameron Peach was about to end his shift on the morning of Nov. 12, 1999.
“I was sitting in the parking lot of the substation getting ready to go home. I had worked all night and I was about 30 minutes from getting off,” he said.
Peach heard a call go out about an infant found underneath a stairwell at a nearby apartment complex.
The apartment building was near the police substation at Carolina Circle Mall.
“I just took off, I just took off. I let dispatch know that I was in route,” he said.
Another officer who was just as close took off as well.
That officer was Ben Altizer. He’s now a sergeant with the Greensboro Police Department.
It didn’t take them long to get to the building.
Peach remembers a woman showing them where the baby was located.
“My immediate reaction was to pick the baby up and get the baby to a warmer location,” Peach said.
He put the baby in the backseat of the cruiser and turned up the heat.
From there, Peach got a bright idea.
He decided to use his flashlight to help keep the baby warm.
“Kind of like a heating lamp,” Peach said.
“Being concerned for the child’s vision, I didn’t want to damage its young eyes, so I remember shielding it from the light. Actually trying to look out for her,” Altizer said.
Peach’s last memory of Baby Doe was seeing her whisked away into an ambulance.
“Definitely thought about, wondered what happened to her, and I remember discussing it with somebody, ‘Man it’d be kind of cool maybe to adopt her,’” he said.
Peach finally learned what happened to the baby from our 2017 coverage on Angel Thomas and has followed our most recent series.
“End up with a good family, do well, and now she’s flying an airplane. Wow. That’s a success story,” he said.
“This was something that I think I can take with me for the rest of my life knowing that I made a difference in someone`s life on that day,” Altizer said.
Thomas wants to own and operate a commercial airline.
She’s studying aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Angel has launched a GoFundMe account to raise money for her education.
This is part of our series on Baby Doe.