Parents of Hostage Toddler Share their Ordeal

DeathMichael Pittman

"Pure joy. It was pure joy. It was a weight lifted off my entire body."

Alexis Pittman described the moment she learned her son, Michael Jr. was alive and well, after being held captive for three days by her distraught cousin, wanted by police

Alexis and her husband, Michael Sr., were in a hotel room as their son was carried out by a SWAT officer to safety.

"We turned on (the TV) right when it was going down. We felt helpless 'cause we weren't there," Michael Pittman said.

"I cried, again. I cried. I was so happy," his wife added.

But it was also bittersweet for them because the suspect was a cousin who police ended up shooting and killing.

"At first, I was sure that he wouldn't hurt him. But as the days and the hours went by, I got worried. I just didn't know," Alexis said. "I knew that under different circumstances he would be in good hands."

"What will you tell him about your cousin," Fox 40 asked.

"I'll tell him how Anthony (Alvarez) was before all of this stuff. It's obvious he was well taken care of inside there. I'll let him know that," the mother said inbetween tears.

Grateful to have the family back together, they don't take anything for granted.

"There's a possiblity that you won't see them again," the dad added. "It really makes you appreciate it."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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