|Published:||Aug 20, 2013 9:43 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Aug 21, 2013 12:01 AM EDT|
NAPLES, Fla. - "My son is safe, I've been waiting for two years to hear that."
For the first time since her son Zachary disappeared from her California home, Stephanie Byrd will hug her son.
"We finally have a chance to let the healing begin and I finally have the chance to tell my son tomorrow that he's loved," said Byrd. "And I really want him to know that that no matter what, that I will always love him because I don't think that's the message he's been getting from his grandfather."
Stephanie was home in California when she received a call from Victor Ortino, the private investigator tasked with looking for her son. Ortino got a tip that led him to this apartment complex in South Carolina, where he found Zachary and his grandfather, and took picturs as the grandfather was arrested and this first and only look at what Zachary looks like now.
"For the life of me I don't understand how or why he could do this to him. As his grandfather he should've been there to protect Zachary and to make sure Zachary was healthy, and happy, and safe and instead he did this. Zachary is sitting in a trauma unit right now because of my father."
Zachary was born in Collier County and grew up with his grandparents while Stephanie attended college in California. In 2011, Stephanie regained custody and Zachary went to live with her. But it was only for 38 days, then she said Zachary was kidnapped. On Tuesday night, Stephanie said authorities were keeping an eye on his mental health.
"He's not eating, he wont talk to anybody. He didn't have any shoes when they found him."
But they will finally be reunited on Wednesday.
"I have been dreaming about this for two years. There's only one other day in my life and that was the day zachary was born that I remember feeling this excited and this afraid, all at the same time. "
On Tuesday evening, WINK News went to the home of Donald Byrd's wife, Joyce Byrd. She said she hadn't heard from her husband and didn't know he was arrested.
Donald Byrd is in a Myrtle Beach jail awaiting his extradition to Los Angeles.