Chilling surveillance footage shows the moment a 9 year-old girl was kidnapped as she stepped off her school bus in Rhode Island.
The horrifying kidnapping took place on Monday just after 3pm near the intersection between Grover street and Merino street, according to WFXT-TV. Police told reporters that the girl had just gotten off the bus when a man grabbed her and forced her into his silver Nissan SUV. They added that he later returned her to a nearby location.
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DEVELOPING: Providence Police say a 9-year-old girl was abducted after getting off her school bus yesterday. Police say it happened near Grover and Merino Streets. She was safely returned later to a nearby location. (1/2) @ABC6 pic.twitter.com/SkYyS0Mdsj
— Laura Pugliese (@LPuglieseABC6) October 6, 2020
Police believed that the suspect was a Hispanic man between the ages of 20 and 40 years old. He was wearing all black at the time of the kidnapping, and he had black hair.
The surveillance footage showing the kidnapping was released by police in the hopes that the public could help identify the suspect. The Providence Public School District also released a statement about what happened.
“All of us at Providence Schools are extremely distressed by yesterday’s abduction of a young member of our community and are relieved to learn of the child’s return. The school district is prepared to provide supports and resources to the family as they recover from this traumatic event,” the school district stated.
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“We are grateful for the Providence Police, who are working diligently on this case. When it comes to protecting children, all members of the community have a responsibility to be vigilant,” the statement added. “We have informed our staff and our families to be on the alert and to share any information with the police that could be helpful.”
Police have since apprehended the suspect, who has been identified as 34-year-old Luis Martinez-Romero. They have arrested and charged him with the kidnapping of a minor and second-degree sexual assault, according to WPRI.
“This dangerous individual has been removed from the streets of our city due to the swift and vigilant work of our officers who worked tirelessly on this case,” said Providence Police Chief Hugh Clement.
The victim helped police solve her own case by revealing that the suspect had taken her to a fast-food restaurant after kidnapping her. Specifically, she told officers that Martinez-Romero brought her to a Burger King and bought her 10-piece spicy chicken nuggets and a soda.
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Once they knew her order, officers sifted through surveillance footage at Burger Kings in Providence and Cranston before they finally spotted the suspect’s vehicle.
Police added that the girl is fine and is getting all of the support she needs.
“This whole community came together, certainly with video, surveillance footage from homes, from residents,” Clements said. “Conversations with residents were helpful in helping lead detectives down the right track.”
This piece was written by James Samson on October 7, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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