Just another case of child abduction that could end up fatally was resolved with a positive outcome thanks to the Massachusetts State Police and the public who got involved in tracking the kidnapper down.
The incident took place on Wednesday, when 11-year-old Charlotte Moccia got off the school bus and started walking home. She was abducted in broad daylight.
One person, Julius Kenney, who witnessed the whole thing told Boston 25 News: “I came out and I heard the kid hollering for help. 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.”
Charlotte may be wearing a white jacket, khaki pants, a dark shirt that may have the logo of the Hampden Charter School on it (see photo). She may have a school-issued laptop with her. If seen call 911. Tweet 2 of 3. https://t.co/y1bbzGPcXO pic.twitter.com/ApkVrZSC8W
— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) January 15, 2020
Massachusetts State Police didn’t waste any time before they issued an Amber Alert. Along with that, they shared with the public the surveillance footage showing Charlotte walking down the street and the vehicle of the suspect.
This photo of a blue Honda was taken yesterday in the same area of Springfield where the abduction of CHARLOTTE MOCCIA occurred today. We believe it is the same vehicle involved in the abduction. Please note car is blue and has no inspection sticker and no front plate. pic.twitter.com/6RTaKHwaoc
— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) January 16, 2020
Luckily, soon after the Amber Alert was issued, motorists on the Massachusetts Turnpike who saw the vehicle of the abductor called the police and gave them information of the direction it headed.
A construction site was positioned along the highway, around 30 minutes from where Charlotte was abducted, and it helped slow the vehicles down.
Thankfully, the police was able to spot the blue Honda and rescue the terrified girl.
Right after Charlotte was in the hands of the officers, she was taken to the hospital. Luckily, she wasn’t 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 was later identified as 24-year-old Miguel Rodriguez. According to his parents, he was suffering from schizophrenia and paranoia and wasn’t taking his medications regularly despite doctors’ warnings that his condition could get worse without any.
“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.”
We are so glad Charlotte was found just in time and is reunited with her family who was praying for her safety. We also hope Miguel will get the medical help he desperately needs so that incidents like this one could be avoided in the future.