SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WTNH) — Massachusetts State Police reported Wednesday night that they have canceled an Amber Alert issued earlier in the day for an 11-year-old girl and that they had made an arrest in her abduction.
Reports said she was last seen being forced into a car by a white or Hispanic male at 1:26 p.m. Wednesday, not long after she got off a Hampden Charter School bus at Princeton and Amherst Streets.
Six and a half hours later, she was found safe inside a blue/black Honda sedan that was stopped in a work zone. Troopers were alerted to the car by nearby motorists.
Troopers arrested 24-year-old Miguel Rodriguez, of Springfield.
During a news conference Wednesday night, officials said a knife was found in the “pocket” of the door.
The child’s parents issued a statement Thursday afternoon:
“My husband and I would like to thank our neighbors; the State, Chicopee and Springfield police, especially Detectives John Lopez and Angel Marrero, Captain Trent Duda, Mayor Sarno, Commissioner Clapprood; all local and national news outlets, family, friends, our Hampden Charter and St. Michael’s school communities, the doctor, nurse and social worker who assisted [our daughter] in the ER; and strangers near and far who, via social media, got the word out to help bring [her] home.
In particular, we’d like to thank Amanda Disley and her husband for their vigilance and courage for putting themselves in harm’s way to make sure she wasn’t out of their sight.
The outpouring of love and support, near and far, is overwhelming. We are eternally grateful.”Carl & Denise Moccia
Officials said they hope she will overcome the incident and live a happy life, adding that she was an “amazing little girl” and handled the situation well. They also thanked everyone who called in with sights of the car.
Thursday, Rodriquez appeared before a judge. He is accused of abduction in the incident.
He is being held without bail until a hearing scheduled for January 22. He has also been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.