On Wednesday an 11-year-old girl’s parents suffered through many parents’ worst nightmare. Charlotte Moccia was abducted in broad daylight.
The 11-year-old from Massachusetts was reportedly forcibly taken off the street as she walked home after she got off her school bus.
“I came out and I heard the kid hollering for help,” Julius Kenney told Boston 25 News. “By the time I got down to get the plate number, all I saw was an individual bent over, throwing her in the back, shut the door and the car took off.”
Following the abduction, Massachusetts State Police issued an Amber Alert. They believed that surveillance footage that showed Charlotte walking down the street also showed the suspect following her down the street and shared images of the vehicle with the public.
Not long after the Amber Alert was issued, around 7:15 p.m., police began receiving 911 calls from motorists on the Massachusetts Turnpike. Many believed they had spotted the car about 30 minutes from where Charlotte had been abducted.
Massachusetts State Police used a construction site along the highway to control the traffic and slow the cars down. With cars rolling they were able to spot the suspect, pull the car over, and rescue Charlotte.
The 11-year-old was transported to a hospital for precautionary measures, but it did not appear that she had been hurt.
“She’s an amazing little girl,” State Police Lt. Bob Ackerman said. “I can’t believe how strong she was dealing with this.”
The suspect, Miguel Rodriguez, was arrested. The 24-year-old’s family spoke with MassLive and said he was schizophrenic and paranoid. Rodriguez had received medicine and his family tried to get him to take it, but “he didn’t like the flavor of the medications.”
“We feel really bad, you know, as parents. We have kids ourselves,” Henry Rodriguez, Miguel’s father, said. “We feel relieved that the girl was found safe and sound. We were relieved that nothing happened to that little girl and that she is back with her family. We are grateful she’s all right.”
I, too, am so relieved Charlotte is back home with her family. I hope she didn’t suffer too much. I hope justice is served, but I will also pray that Miguel gets the help that he needs.
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